Zidane trying to defuse controversy after Ronaldo’s comments

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MADRID (AP) — Less than three months into his first head-coaching job, Zinedine Zidane is already having to defuse tensions at Real Madrid.

The coach on Tuesday came out trying to downplay an off-the-field issue sparked by Cristiano Ronaldo, who said after a loss that the team would be doing better if everyone else was at his level.

Zidane said Ronaldo addressed the squad this week to explain his comments and show he was not minimizing his teammates’ talents.

Zidane assured that the issue has been “resolved” and is “in the past.”

With Madrid struggling and virtually out of contention in the Spanish league, the coach is under pressure for the first time since taking over the squad in January. His only chance for a title is in the Champions League.