Reports in Spain say the atmosphere has become strained on the training pitch during the club's pre-season tour of Australia, with Madrid set to take on Manchester City in the final match of the International Champions Cup in Melbourne on Friday. However, Benitez, who took over at the Bernabeu from Carlo Ancelotti in June, suggested he had no problems with Ronaldo.

"Luckily, I have had the opportunity this week to spend quite a few days with him," Benitez said. "And I can say that he's competitive, he likes to win, and for that reason he is the best in the world. I would like all players to have that desire to win and to compete. You've all seen him train today and I think his performance will be up to scratch. I talk to all the players a lot. I have had the opportunity to talk to him, too. We talked about football and yes, he is competitive. Seeing Ronaldo up close training, I can see that he's doing very well."

Ronaldo, who has won the Ballon d'Or on three occasions, played the first-half on Saturday as Real Madrid lost their opening match on penalties to Roma. Manchester City, who beat Roma in a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday, will attempt to win the three-team tournament when they meet Madrid at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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