Speaking at a press conference before his team’s International Champions Cup match against Roma on Saturday, Benitez was asked by Goal if the 25-year-old Wales international, five years Ronaldo’s junior, could soon become the more prominent member of the Madrid attack.
“You can ask my daughter if she prefers my wife or me. The father or the mother. It’s not easy,” he said.
“Ronaldo, Bale, all of them – they are so good. For me it’s not a problem. James (Rodriguez), Isco, (Karim) Benzema, Ronaldo or Bale, we have an option with all of them.
“Ronaldo is a key player for us, Gareth will be a key player for us. But the same will be Benzema, James, Isco, (Toni) Kroos, (Luka) Modric. We have a fantastic team. We have to keep improving the squad, keep working hard with the players that we have.”
Benitez, a former Real Madrid ‘B’ player and coach, has won La Liga with Valencia and captured the UEFA Champions League at Liverpool, but now faces undeniably the biggest role of his career.
The 55-year-old knows he will face intense scrutiny in the hot seat at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but believes focusing on the task at hand – and his inside knowledge of the club – will enable him to succeed where others have failed.
“If you analyse what I have to do every day, it’s more or less the same,” he said.
“It’s a football team and you have to train, to coach, prepare the training sessions and (for) the game. So it’s more or less the same.
“Obviously you have more media, more people around watching you. For me it doesn’t change too much. I have to concentrate on my job and try to do my best in the things that I know. Coaching the team and trying to have a winning mentality.
“(I do) have an advantage. I know the city, I know the fans, I know the club. So that is an advantage.”
Football Federation Australia