Rafa Benitez has been sacked by Real Madrid after just seven months as manager of the Spanish giants with former French international Zinedine Zidane taking over the reins from the Spaniard.
Benitez replaced Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid boss in the summer signing a three-year deal but he has lasted just 25 league games and despite just three defeats, the Spaniard was given his marching orders following a meeting on Monday afternoon.
Real’s B team coach Zinedine Zidane has been promoted to first team manager and in a shirt press conference, the Frenchman said he will give it everything to bring silverware back to the club..
“I am going to put my heart and soul into this job so that everything works out well,” said the former World Cup winner.
“It’s the best club in the world with the best fan-base in the world. I want to do my very best to ensure that this club at the end of the season will have a trophy.
“I will be working hard with all the players and I think it will go well. I am looking forward to working with everybody tomorrow. Tomorrow is when the work starts.”
Zidane also played for Real Madrid between 2001 and 2006 making over 150 appearances winning the La Liga in 2003 and the Champions League in 2002.
This marks Zidane’s first major role as manager but he has been part of the club’s staff since 2010 and took charge of the B team in 2014, where they are currently second in the Spanish third tier.
The 43-year-old enjoyed a decorated career as a player including winning the World Cup with France in 1998, won two Serie A titles with Juventus before making the switch to Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £45.8m in 2001.
I actually feel sorry for Rafa Benitez because he has done nothing wrong at Real Madrid but the club clearly have very high expectations as it seems third place in the league and a spot in the Champions League Last 16 is not enough to keep your job.
President Florentino Perez has opted for a risky appointment in Zinedine Zidane, who has no previous first team managerial experience. It will take a few weeks to see if this gamble will pay off.
Jose Mourinho was also rumoured for a return to a previous employer but for the former Chelsea boss, he will have to wait a little while longer for his return to management.