Ronaldo defends boss after 8-0 rout

MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo claimed Real Madrid fans should get off coach Rafael Benitez's back after the Spanish club's record-equalling 8-0 mauling of Malmo in the Champions League.

The Portuguese star set a new record for goals scored in the Champions League group stage by hitting four against the Swedish champions on Tuesday to take his tally in this season's competition to 11.

Real have now won five consecutive games since being embarrassed 4-0 at home by rivals Barcelona last month, but many of the home fans still booed Benitez.

Benitez was also in charge of Liverpool when they beat Besiktas 8-0 to set the benchmark for the biggest margin of victory in a Champions League game.

And Ronaldo came out in defence of his coach.

"I don't see the problem," said Ronaldo. "The boss is doing a good job, he is adapting to Real Madrid and I think we have to give him time because in my opinion he is doing things well."

Ronaldo also put Real's fans at ease by distancing himself from rumours linking him with a sensational transfer to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

His 11 Champions League goals have come in just four games against Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo as he failed to find the net in two matches against PSG.

NO PROBLEM

The boss is doing a good job, he is adapting to Real Madrid and I think we have to give him time because in my opinion he is doing things well.

CRISTIANO RONALDO

After Real's 1-0 win at home to the French champions, Ronaldo was captured embracing both PSG coach Laurent Blanc and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, but he insists he is happy in the Spanish capital.

"It is speculation that happens every year. I think people are used to this, but I am calm. I am happy at a club that has helped me a huge amount since I arrived," he said.

On an ideal night for Real, striker Karim Benzema also registered his first hat-trick in five years.

He will learn today if he is to be suspended from the French national team owing to his alleged involvement in a blackmail scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena.

"There is a justice system and we have to see what it says before anything else," the 27-year-old said.

Despite his off-field problems and a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for six weeks, Benzema is enjoying his best scoring start to a season with Real after 12 goals in just 13 appearances.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'Ronaldo defends boss after 8-0 rout'. Print Edition | Subscribe