Zinedine Zidane was a relieved man after Cristiano Ronaldo ended his goal drought with a hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 4-1 win at Alaves on Saturday.
The Portuguese star had only found the back of the net once in his previous five La Liga games, becoming visibly frustrated at failing to register during a 2-1 home victory over Athletic Bilbao last time out.
A relatively lean spell by Ronaldo’s own high standards came to an end at Estadio de Mendizorroza, where the 31-year-old scored twice in the opening period before overcoming a missed penalty to complete his hat-trick.
And Zidane praised his star for getting back on the goal path, stating the Portuguese “does his talking on the pitch”.
“It is always better this way,” Zidane told a press conference. “When Cristiano scores and even better when he scores three.
“[Ronaldo] does his talking on the pitch. His performance was good in all aspects. Cristiano showed patience today. He has proven the hard work he’s been doing.”
Full-back Marcelo acknowledged Ronaldo had been upset with his form in recent weeks but claimed the victory was more satisfying to his team-mate than boosting his individual strike rate.
“Cristiano is pleased with the three goals but even more so with the three points,” the Brazilian defender told beIN Sports after the final whistle.
“He was angry with himself before because he lives to score goals.”
Zidane meanwhile was gratified by Madrid’s capacity to recover from Deyverson’s seventh-minute opener, citing the need for determination as a potentially decisive factor in determining the destination of the title.
“I am happy with how we played,” the Frenchman added. “We suffered in the first half but deserved to win.
“If we don’t suffer, like we did in the first half, it is impossible to win the league. We must know how to suffer and win.”
The former France international also revealed a knock forced him to withdraw defender Pepe in the 24th minute.
“We don’t know yet as [to] how much time it will take to heal,” he said.
“After scans tomorrow we’ll know more.”