Benitez: Madrid missed Cristiano Ronaldo against Valerenga

Rafael Benitez admitted that Real Madrid sorely missed Cristiano Ronaldo in Sunday’s friendly draw at Valerenga and hinted that the club could make new signings before the close of the transfer window.

Ronaldo missed the Blancos’ final pre-season outing before the start of the Liga season with a back problem, while Karim Benzema (thigh) was also absent through injury.

Benitez thus turned to Jese, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez for the game in Oslo and was frustrated that nobody managed to make their mark – despite Madrid’s dominance.

“The team did enough to score but we lacked precision,” he told reporters.

“We have to think about the players that were missing.

“The most important player and the one who scores the most goals in this team was not here, but the team has come forward and that’s a positive.

“But when a team creates 20 chances, I’d like to think we could have scored a goal.

“I’m not 100 per cent satisfied. We have room for improvement.

“The market is always open, and more so for Real Madrid, until August 31.”

Martin Odegaard also started for Madrid and Benitez was pleased with the 16-year-old’s contribution but refused to be drawn on whether the attacking midfielder will remain with the club’s B team or be sent out on loan this term.

“Martin has a lot of talent and we have to support him,” the former Liverpool boss added.

“It was a friendly but he has shown his quality and we have to see where he can go.

“If I was Odegaard, I would feel very happy to be at Madrid and would be working hard to improve every day.

“When you have a player of such quality you can use him no matter what.”

Madrid kick off their Liga campaign at Sporting Gijon on August 23.