Zinedine Zidane labelled Cristiano Ronaldo as 'the best in the world' following the Portugal captain's return to the Madrid team on Wednesday night.
After being banned for five domestic matches for pushing the referee in the Super Cup, Ronaldo returned to goalscoring action for Los Blancos in the Champions League, helping himself to a brace in their 3-0 win over APOEL Nicosia.
Sergio Ramos added a third for the home side, but the current Ballon d'Or winner stole the show, opening the scoring with 12 minutes on the clock before notching his second from the penalty spot.
It could have been better for the 32-year-old who saw an effort hit the crossbar and bounce back off the line, as well as having a goal ruled out for marginally being offside. His two goals against the Cypriot side takes his Champions League tally to 107 goals.
Speaking after the match, Zidane hailed the timely return of Ronaldo following injuries to Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, saying:
"He is the best in the world. He is always there when we need him and he always scores. If he was luckier today he could have scored four. He is a key player for us, I hope he continues in the same vain."
The former French international was also pleased with the way his side conducted themselves in a match they were expected to dominate:
"We are happy. There are no quiet games. APOEL have experienced players and are not overwhelmed by the Bernabeu; they just went out and played. If you're not focused, they can hurt you."
After a disappointing start to the campaign let to Gareth Bale being whistled off on Saturday, the Welshmen showed his qualities, helping himself to two assists as well as providing a number of superb crosses. With Zidane admitting he was happy with Bale's contribution:
"Bale is capable of playing in a number of positions and on the left he can do a good job too. He showed his flexibility. Today we started with Ronaldo and Bale as forwards and then he shifted. I am pleased with the side in general and above all the second half."