Real Madrid sack Benitez, Zidane to take over

The La Liga club's president Florentino Perez dismissed the Spaniard after calling a press conference, with their former player Zinedine Zidane named as the new head coach. Frenchman Zidane had been in charge of the Real 'B' team.

Real Madrid are third in the La Liga standings, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.   -  REUTERS

After Real Madrid president Florentino Perez called for an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon to discuss the future of coach Rafael Benitez, the club fired the manager after six months in the job in the evening.

The La Liga club's president Perez dismissed the Spaniard after calling a press conference, with their former player Zinedine Zidane named as the new head coach.

"We have taken the difficult decision to rescind the contract of Rafael Benitez as coach," said Madrid president Florentino Perez.

"The Real Madrid board has decided to name Zinedine Zidane as coach of the first team."

Frenchman Zidane had been in charge of the Real 'B' team.

Zidane said, "I am going to put my heart and soul into this job so that everything works out well."

Real are third in the standings, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, after suffering three league defeats this season, including a 4-0 home loss to arch-rivals Barcelona.

Benitez, the former Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Napoli manager, replaced Italian Carlo Ancelotti in June.

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