Sacked Real Madrid coach, Rafa Benitez
Real Madrid have sacked Rafa Benitez and named Zinedine Zidane as his replacement.
The former Liverpool manager has been relieved of his duties at the Santiago Bernabeu after slipping four points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga.
The 32-time Spanish champions fell four points behind Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga after a 2-2 draw against Valencia on Sunday and Benitez was dismissed following a board meeting held on Monday afternoon.
Club legend Zidane, who currently manages Madrid’s ‘B’ team, has long been linked with the top job and will now take charge.
Benitez had struggled to win over supporters after replacing Carlo Ancelotti in the summer and Madrid could fall five points behind Barcelona if the defending champions win their game in hand.
Real cruised through their Champions League group, winning five of their six matches and scoring 19 goals, but suffered embarrassment in the Copa del Rey when they were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.
Benitez’s position came under particular scrutiny in November when Madrid suffered back-to-back defeats against Sevilla and Barcelona, the latter a 4-0 humbling at home to their greatest rivals.
The former Liverpool and Napoli manager enjoyed an 8-0 victory over Malmo in the Champions League and a 10-2 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano but defeat to Villarreal and the draw at Valencia has cost him his position.
Blancos legend and new coach,Zinedine Zidane
The 1998 World Cup winner and Blancos legend, Zinedine Zidane, showed his delight in succeeding Benitez, and set his sights on silverware by the end of his first season.
Zinedine Zidane thanked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for the opportunity to replace Rafa Benitez as coach.
The Frenchman was presented as the latest trainer of the Spanish giants by Perez, who removed Benitez from his post after less than a season.
And the former Castilla boss, who will move up to the first-team with immediate effect, expressed his delight at receiving the call.
“I want to thank the club and you, president, for giving me the chance to coach this great team,” Zidane told a press conference on Monday evening.
“Today is a very exciting day for me, even more so than when I signed as a player. I am going to give all my heart for this club.”
In a short statement, Zidane added that he was determined to win a trophy in his maiden season.
“We have the best team and the best supporters in the world. I will do everything possible to win something this season,” he told reporters.
“The most important thing is to be with the team tomorrow to start working.”