Real Madrid's Portuguese star striker Cristiano Ronaldo owes his success and the extraordinary level he's reached to teammate Karim Benzema, but also to his rivalry with Barcelona's Argentine player Lionel Messi, according to former coach Carlo Ancelotti and to the Merengue's legend Zinedine Zidane.
“I think that Ronaldo's success is largely down to Benzema's hard work,” said former Galacticos manager Ancelotti, according to the Bleacher Report. “Karim is a calm guy. He is a very relaxed and humble guy, but he is a great player.”
Cristiano Ronaldo: "Happy to training again". pic.twitter.com/4VlX78jhYA— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cr7Fran4ever) October 13, 2015
The former coach said that Benzema's style of play foments Ronaldo's game and scoring.
“I believe Benzema and Ronaldo are the perfect attacking duo,” he added.
Ancelotti said Ronaldo should be grateful to Benezema, as he has assisted in 14 of Ronaldo's 48 goals in 41 league and Champions League appearances during the Italian's coach management 2013-2014. Benzema scored 23 goals that year.
Under Ancelotti, the Ronaldo-Benzema duo led Real Madrid's 10th European Cup-Champions League title, after which the Italian coach was dismissed after a disappointing second season for him.
Goals in 2015: 1- Messi: 45 goals in 53 games 2- Ronaldo: 42 goals in 44 games 3- Lewandowski: 41 goals in 41 games GO ON ROBERT!!— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) October 13, 2015
But Ronaldo also has Messi to thank, according to Zidane, who claimed the Portuguese striker uses his rivalry with the Argentine star as a reason to constantly improve himself.
“The rivalry with Messi is only pushing him to get the best out of himself,” said the French legendary forward. “You have to see Ronaldo on the training pitch. It is simply amazing to see him in action.”
Zidane also said Raul's departure from Real Madrid helped Ronaldo, as he then went on to develop himself into another club legend.
Recently, Ronaldo achieved to historic feats as he joined the 500 Club after racking up 501 goals in his career; 324 at Real Madrid alone, making him the club’s all-time highest scorer, taking the record from the legendary Raul, who took 400 more games than the Portuguese star to get the same number of goals.
“Ronaldo is feeling very well at Real Madrid,” said Zidane.
Bleacher Report said Ronaldo has gone from Manchester United talent to possibly the greatest footballer of all time in his 13 years at the top of the game.