Real Madrid Sack Rafa Benitez, Zidane Set to Replace

Real Madrid have sacked coach Rafa Benitez after less than half a season in charge, and have promoted Zinedine Zidane from the B team’s managerial position to replace him, president Florentino Perez confirmed on Monday.

The club have now lost three of their last eight league games, winning four and drawing just one. Sunday night’s game against Valencia appeared to have been the last straw for president Florentino Perez.

“We have taken the difficult decision to rescind the contract of Rafael Benítez as coach,” said Madrid president Florentino Pérez.

“The Real Madrid board has decided to name Zinedine Zidane as coach of the first team.”

The 43 year-old Frenchman failed to get Castilla promoted from the third tier of Spanish football last season, but they currently lie second in the regional Segunda Division B, having lost just two of 19 games this season.

Zidane was also a part of Carlo Ancelotti’s coaching staff when they won the European Cup and Copa del Rey in 2014.

“We have the best club in the world, the best fans, and what we have to do now, and what I will try my best to do, is ensure the team wins at the end of the season,” added Zidane.

“I am more emotional than when I signed as a player, but that is normal and from tomorrow, I am going to put my heart into doing all I can for this club.”

Zidane will take charge of his first game as boss at home, against Deportivo la Coruña on Saturday.


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