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SportsBenítez replaced by Zidane in Real Madrid

Benítez replaced by Zidane in Real Madrid

Madrid: On Monday, Spanish football club Real Madrid sacked their manager Rafael Benítez. They appointed Zinedine Zidane as his successor.

File photo of Rafael Benítez in 2015. Image: Богдан Заяц

Real Madrid, which failed to win a trophy last season under their Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, hired former Liverpool manager Benítez as Ancelotti’s replacement for the 2015–16 season. Benítez had previously won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool FC, the UEFA Super Cup with Valencia CF, and the UEFA Europa League with London-based club Chelsea FC. However he was criticised after a 4–0 defeat by Barcelona in the El Clásico at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and a shock exit from the 2015–16 Copa del Rey for including an ineligible player in the squad, Russian Denis Cheryshev.

Having won only 17 out of 25 matches with Los Blancos, Benítez’s last match for Real Madrid ended in a 2–2 draw to Valencia in an away match on Sunday; they are 3rd in the La Liga table, 4 points behind league leaders and local rivals Atlético Madrid.

I’m going to put my heart and soul into this club


Zinedine Zidane

File photo of Zinedine Zidane in 2008. Image: Raphaël Labbé
Zinedine Zidane is a former Real Madrid legend and of Real’s reserve team, Real Madrid Castilla. Real’s president Florentino Pérez appointed the Frenchman and said Zidane “knows better than anyone just what it means to lead the Real Madrid first-team squad.”

Real Madrid has had 11 managers in the 12 years that Pérez has been president. Zidane, expressing his gratitude to Pérez, said “I’m going to put my heart and soul into this club”.

Zidane was assistant manager to Ancelotti when Real Madrid won their tenth European Championship. Back in 2001, Real Madrid paid Turin-based club Juventus FC the equivalent of £45.8 million to sign Zidane. Pérez said to Zidane, “This is your stadium and your club and you have all our confidence and trust to make the fans excited once more. It makes me proud because I know that for you the word impossible does not exist.”

From Wikinews under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence
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