July 2024

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Seven months into his 3-year contract, Rafael Benítez has been fired as the manager of Spanish Football club, Real Madrid. The club’s president, Florentino Perez appointed French legend Zinedine Zidane to take over the coaching duties.

A tough season for Benítez

The decision was taken after an emergency board meeting after the club had a 2-2 draw against Gary Neville’s Valencia. Real Madrid had a shaky performance as they were reduced to 10 men and pegged back twice. They are now occupying the third place in La Liga, Spain’s first division football league, four points behind Atlético Madrid.

Benítez struggled to fit with the kind of style demanded at Bernabéu. Los Blancos have been struggling this year after conceding three losses so far, including a 4-0 defeat against rival Barcelona in November’s Clásico. The team was also disqualified from the Copa del Rey last after fielding an ineligible player in the team’s roster. There were also frequent rumors of unrest within the team.

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A not-so-new guy

Fans are glad to welcome Zinedine Zidane who is no stranger to the Real Madrid organization. Prior to this appointment, Zidane had been coaching the club’s B-team, the Real Madrid Castilla. In 2010, he was appointed as an advisor to Jose Mourinho and a year later, he served as the team’s sporting director. He also worked as an assistant under Ancelotti during the 2013 season. Zidane played for the team between 2001 and 2006 and won the 2002 Champions League title.

Florentino Perez is a huge fan of Jose Mourinho and the former Chelsea manager could be an option for the team at the end of the season if the Zidane experiment fails.

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