Hierro backs Madrid to come good

Former Real Madrid captain and assistant coach Fernando Hierro says Rafael Benitez's men have what it takes to claim domestic and European success this season.

While Madrid are in third place and only four points off Barcelona, Benitez's tenure has already experienced difficulties including reported dressing room tensions, a Clasico thrashing at the hands of Barcelona and a Copa del Rey expulsion.

The latter came about due to Denis Cheryshev's selection against Cadiz - the club's hierarchy claiming not to have been notified that he had yet to serve a suspension in the competition before eventually accepting their exclusion - but the 4-0 defeat to Barca at Camp Nou brought the most stinging criticism of Benitez.

But Hierro - who served under Benitez's predecessor Carlo Ancelotti having won five La Liga titles and three Champions League medals as a player - backed his former club to remain in the hunt for silverware.

The former Spain defender told www.sc.qa: "Losing [El Clasico] by such a big margin at home hurts and people are not comfortable with that.

"If there is a team in the world you can never write off it is Real Madrid. We have extraordinary players. There is still a long way to go in the league.

"Madrid can be a very dangerous team in the Champions League and they will fight until the end in the Spanish league as well."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1