‘No fallout with Cristiano Ronaldo’, says Rafael Benitez

Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez says Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from his Audi Cup squad is due to injury rather than any fallout between the pair.

Ronaldo and strike partner Karim Benzema will not feature in the pre-season competition in Munich after picking up back and thigh injuries respectively.

The Portugal captain’s absence follows reports of a dispute between Ronaldo and Benitez in training – something the coach has been quick to deny.

“He’s a great professional and someone who is very competitive, he wants to win every single small game or situation,” Benitez said.

“I’m really pleased to work [with] him, [I’m] sorry because he’s not here, but [there’s] no problems between us. I said before, he’s a very competitive player so I am pleased with that.

“He had a lower back problem so we decided to leave him there.”