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Zinedine Zidane Replaces Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid
- Updated: January 4, 2016
Madrid, Spain – Real Madrid have replaced Rafa Benitez with Zinedine Zidane.
The 55-year-old Spaniard was relieved of his duties following a meeting of the club’s board on Monday.
“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.”
Real’s B team coach Zidane, 43, has been promoted to the role of first-team boss.
Frenchman Zidane, a former Real player and World Cup winner, said: “I am going to put my heart and soul into this job so that everything works out well.”
“We have the best club in the world, the best fans and what we have to do now, and what I will try my best to do, is ensure the team wins at the end of the season,” added Zidane. “I am more emotional than when I signed as a player, but that is normal and from tomorrow I am going to put my heart into doing all I can for this club.”
Benitez’s final game was Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia, which left them third in La Liga, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
Zidane is the 11th coach to be appointed under Perez in just over 12 years in two spells in charge of the club.