Zidane sings ‘tremendous’ Ronaldo’s praises

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane hailed “incredible” Cristiano Ronaldo after his four goals helped secure a 6-3 win over Girona on Sunday.

The Portuguese forward scored a 50th career hat-trick to take his league tally for the season to 22 goals, in another scintillating performance at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The win was sweet revenge for Los Blancos after Girona beat them in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign, and there was no stopping Ronaldo, who has now hit 17 goals in his last eight appearances across all competitions.

“Ronaldo is very important to us; he transmits energy across the whole group,” Zidane said after the match.

“He knows himself very well and he knows when he has to stop a bit so that, when the end of the season arrives, he hits top form.

“He is tremendous. In training he is incredible. For example, if there is a penalty, he takes it with maximum concentration. And that is only training. It is incredible.

“But I also want to highlight his colleagues, who help him a lot. We scored some spectacular goals that came from the whole team.”

Lucas Vazquez and substitute Gareth Bale also found the net for Real, who looked sensational going forward but remain vulnerable in defence.

“We have regained confidence and that has been evident in our home games,” added Zidane.

“We have scored many goals in four or five games at the Bernabeu, which we didn’t do at the start of the season.

“And then there is Cristiano. When he is fine, the team is fine. And then it’s important that the team doesn’t take its foot off the pedal.

“We have to improve things (defensively). I’m not happy with the three goals conceded and that has to be improved, we have to work on it.”