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Benitez rejects Ronaldo fatigue fears

Rafael Benitez has no concerns that Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is beginning to suffer from fatigue.

The Portugal captain scored his 13th goal of the season in a 3-1 win over Las Palmas on Saturday but his performance prompted some comments in Spain that a lack of rotation is beginning to wear down the 30-year-old.

His coach, however, claimed Ronaldo's run of three goals in as many league games proves he remains as sharp as ever ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

"My impression is that he's the same as he was at the start of the season, the numbers he's managed show us that," said Benitez.

"Against Las Palmas he ran more in the second half. I can't control the feelings on how the players run."

Benitez, who confirmed the return of fit-again goalkeeper Keylor Navas to the squad, went on to praise the form of full-back Marcelo after confirming he is now one of Madrid's vice-captains.

"Marcelo is one of the best full-backs in the world. He's attacking, too. He gives us a lot," said the former Liverpool boss.

Fellow defender Pepe, meanwhile, is fit to play again after making the bench against Las Palmas following his recovery from a muscle problem.

And Benitez is happy to have further competition for the centre-back places as Madrid head into a crucial phase of the season prior to the winter break.

"Pepe understands what his role is," he added. "He's a guarantee to have because he never gives up, and he helps keep up competition between the defenders."

Madrid drew 0-0 away to PSG last time out in European competition on October 21.