Madrid: Real Madrid's embattled manager Rafael Benitez has been sacked after just seven months in charge due to the side's recent slump in the form in the La Liga.
With his dismissal, Real have called in Zinedine Zidane, who has until now managed Madrid's 'B' team, as Benitez's replacement.
Zinedine Zidane. Pic/ AFP
Confirming the news, Real president Florentino Perez admitted that Benitez is a great professional and that it was a difficult decision to relieve him from duties at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"I am here to say that the board has just decided, in a difficult decision, especially for me, to end the contract of Rafa as first-team coach. I would like to make it clear that he is a great professional," Perez was quoted as saying by goal.com.
Lavishing praise on their new manager Zidane, the president said that the former had the required qualities to lead Real Madrid, insisting that he had always been able to overcome huge challenges.
The 32-time Spanish champions failed to take advantage of the lead and slipped four point adrift of local rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga following their 2-2 draw against Valencia in their tournament clash.