Zinedine Zidane lavished praise on star forward Ronaldo on Wednesday after the Portuguese striker hit two goals in Real Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League win over Israel’s APOEL.
Still serving a domestic ban for pushing the referee during Madrid’s recent Super Cup win, Ronaldo showed no signs of rustiness as he scored one goal in each half.
The goals, a clinical 12th minute finish at the far post and a penalty, took Ronaldo’s Champions League goal tally to 107.
After the game, Zidane said Ronaldo could easily have doubled his tally.
“He [Ronaldo] is the best in the world,” Zidane told reporters.
“He is always there when we need him and he always scores. If he was luckier today he could have scored four.
“He is a key player for us [and] I hope he continues in the same vein.”
Zidane also took the opportunity to back Gareth Bale, who was targeted by some supporters when he was substituted late in the game.
“Bale is capable of playing in a number of positions and on the left he can do a good job too,” Zidane said.
“He showed his flexibility. Today we started with Ronaldo and Bale as forwards and then he shifted. I am pleased with the side in general and above all the second half.”