Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez bristles at Cristiano Ronaldo questions

Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez dismissed suggestions he had slighted Cristiano Ronaldo.

Benitez made headlines ahead of Tuesday's Champions League opener against Shakhtar Donetsk when he said Ronaldo was among the best players he had ever coached, which some had interpreted as a suggestion the Portugal international was not the best player he had worked with.

Speaking to media following a Ronaldo hat trick in Los Blancos' 4-0 defeat of Shakhtar, Benitez appeared irritated by questions about his comments.

"I am surprised that you go on and on about what someone says and not about what happens on the pitch and what the team does," he said. "I said yesterday that he plays for our team and that he is the best player in the world.

"I am going to repeat it so that there are no remaining doubts. I know Cristiano Ronaldo's value and performance level; he is the best in the world and is showing that in games and every training session.

"He is the best player in the world and, from now onwards, each time that you ask me I am going to say yes, let's end this issue about what I said and focus on what happens on the pitch."