Madrid: Real Madrid have sacked coach Rafa Benitez after less than half a season in charge and promoted their former France great Zinedine Zidane from the B team to replace him, president Florentino Perez said yesterday.
Perez announced the dismissal of the experienced Benitez, who had a contract until June 2018, following a board meeting and Zidane was present at the president’s news conference at the Bernabeu stadium.
“Firstly I would like to thank the club and the president for giving me the chance to coach this team,” Zidane, known as “Zizou” and a hero to Real’s fans, told reporters. “What we need to do now, and what I will try to do, is try to do my best so that this team is a winner at the end of the season,” added the 43-year-old, one of the club’s youngest-ever coaches.
“The important thing is to be with the team tomorrow and start work,” he said.
“I will put all the heart I have into the job for this club and try to make sure things work out well.”