When Rafa Benitez was hired by Real Madrid to manage the side, no one was really sure how it would work out. He'd been disappointing for a while, was coming off a poor season with Napoli, and has a history of odd decision-making that might not sit well with some of Madrid's big stars.
His relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo, the biggest of those big stars, was tested early when he announced Ronaldo would be played as a striker -- without telling the player first. That relationship has apparently been further strained, leading to Ronaldo twice exploding in training on Wednesday, shouting at Rafa over ruling out a goal the Portuguese forward scored in a small-squad match, then reacting furiously over a training game Benitez wanted Madrid to play.
Cristiano not happy with today's 'try to hit the bar' game. "We should be practicing to put the ball between the posts, not this sh**te"— AS English (@English_AS) July 22, 2015
Tell us how you really feel, Cristiano!
And he's got a point, too. While practicing crossbar shots supposedly helps with drilling accuracy or shot precision or whatever, hitting the crossbar a lot is kind of pointless and not great to do when you're actually playing a match.
Interestingly, several Napoli players have given interviews recently and said that Rafa's training methods lacked useful focus and intensity, and those interviews and others give an impression of an icy relationship between Benitez and the team's best players. If that kind of thing carries over to Real Madrid, Rafa might not be managing his boyhood club for long.
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