The cross-city rivals meet for the first time this season at the Vicente Calderon with Los Blancos keen to avenge the 4-0 reverse they suffered at the same ground in February – a result that swung the pendulum in the title race to Barcelona’s favour.
Los Blancos also lost in the league at home last season as well as in the Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercopa – but did get one over Diego Simeone’s team in the Champions League.
Speaking to reporters at his press conference, Benitez said it will be a tough match.
“It will be a game of character and passion most of all. They will be organised, with intensity and players of real quality. We know it’ll be very difficult. We have to respond with character and personality and try to play our football. We don’t have a fixed rule against Atletico. We face the game with the idea of winning but there are a lot of ways to get the result,” he commented.
He also spoke once more on Ronaldo, saying he hopes the star striker is at the club for many more years to come.
“The numbers are there. I hope he continues to score plenty of goals and that we enjoy him for many more years. That CR7 is in Madrid history is something very important, but I hope his legend increases.”