Cristiano Ronaldo says the Real Madrid players “feel more appreciated” since Zinedine Zidane took charge and he hopes the Frenchman stays in charge long-term.
Madrid endured a difficult start to the campaign under Rafa Benitez, who was sacked in early January amid concerns over results and questions over his relationship with the squad.
Under Zidane, they have moved within one point of leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga and will hope to book their place in the Champions League final when they host Manchester City on Wednesday, having drawn 0-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Ronaldo, who was among the players reported to have been unhappy under Benitez, said he is enjoying life under 1998 World Cup winner Zidane.
“I think we feel more appreciated under Zidane,” Ronaldo told UEFA’s official media. “We feel his affection. We know he’s in a period of adaptation, but things have come together very quickly and I’m really happy for him.
“I always admired him as a player, and now as a coach as well, for how behaves, how he deals with the players. He’s a coach who I would like to see stay at Real Madrid.”
Asked where that ranks in terms of his greatest nights in the competition, the Portugal international said: “It was perhaps one of the most important games: we had to win by three goals and I scored all three, so it was a special night.