Zinedine Zidane said he could not imagine Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo and that he is a player that they can count on in difficult moments.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is in a public dispute with the club over a new contract as he wants a new contract that would double his wages, to put him on par with Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
But Madrid president Florentino Pérez is not keen to do that at the moment, especially when Ronaldo is in the worst form of his life.
“I am not worried, we know that you can talk and argue outside, but inside here Cristiano has to think about playing as always he has done,” Zidane told a press conference.
“I would prefer to talk about his performances and what he gives to the team.
“I cannot imagine a Madrid without Cristiano. This is his club and where he should be. The club, the fans and everyone loves him.
“I always say the same thing about Cristiano, I cannot see Madrid without him and what concerns me is the sporting side. As always, in a difficult moment he is there.
“I do not want to talk about this, the contract and these things. Cristiano is old for all this. It is the club that needs to talk with him.”
With the team struggling in the league, Zidane claims that the solution is through hard work and he is not worried about his position.
“I am not imagining anything, I go from day to day, I always do this and my way of thinking will not change,” he stated.
“Everyone can look at the situation how they want and for me when there are difficult moments I work and try to do good things on the pitch. I have experience of being a player and I know that the best thing about football is that there is a game every three days and that all can change.
He believes that keeping a clean sheet will be important in their clash with Leganes on Thursday.
“It is important not to concede,” he explained.
“We know that we are away and we will try to not concede and to score a goal which is important in knock-out games. It will be difficult and we will concentrate on it being over two legs.”