Cristiano Ronaldo has credited Zinedine Zidane’s appointment as Real Madrid head coach as the catalyst for “one of the best seasons” of his illustrious career.
Reports in Spain suggested Ronaldo had an uneasy relationship with former head coach Rafael Benitez, who was replaced by Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu in January.
Benitez drew plenty of criticism for a perceived negative style of football at Madrid, but under Zidane the club finished the domestic season by winning 12 straight games to lose out on the LaLiga title by one point to Barcelona, while they also won the Champions League following a dramatic penalty shootout win over Atletico Madrid.
Ronaldo went on to clinch a first major international title with Portugal at Euro 2016 and the 31-year-old’s success with club and country makes him the favourite to take home the Best Player in Europe award on Thursday.
And the former Manchester United star hailed Zidane’s arrival for his success last term.
“We didn’t start well last season, but the end was happy,” Ronaldo told 24sata. “I think everything improved with Zidane’s arrival.
“We won the Champions League and I was top scorer and that was probably one of the best seasons in my career.
“Looking at trophies only, it was sure my best season. I also won Euro 2016 with Portugal, which was an exceptional success for me.”
Ronaldo is on the three-man shortlist for the Best Player in Europe award along with club-mate Gareth Bale and Atleti forward Antoine Griezmann, with the winner to be announced in Monaco at the Champions League draw.
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