France legend Zinedine Zidane has taken the charge as head coach at Santiago Bernabeu following the sacking of Rafael Benitez.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has publicly admitted that Zidane is the right man to step into Rafael Benitez’s shoes. Zinedine Zidane is expected to sign a two-and-a-half year deal today to become Real Madrid’s 13th manager since 2003, with the club having won just one league title in the previous seven seasons.
Zinedine Zidane was managing Real Madrid B team since 2014 after working as an assistant coach to Ancelotti in 2013. The 43-year-old retired French footballer has been promoted to manager of the 10-time European champions. Marseille-native Zidane, who made 225 appearances for Real Madrid, was a superb player and one of the best of his generation.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make the best for this club. It’s a very important day for me,” said Zinedine Zidane. “I am going to put my heart and soul into this job so that everything works out well,” the Frenchman added.
Benitez had a frustrating start as he saw his side held to a goalless draw at Sporting Gijon on the opening weekend of the season while defeats at Sevilla and Villareal further weakened his position. Benitez’s low point was Real’s humiliating 4-0 defeat by rivals Barcelona in first El Clasico in November at the Bernabeu.
Rafael Benitez, who took over from Carlo Ancelotti, was under immense pressure since the start of the season. The 55-year-old Spaniard was the center of criticism for Real’s lack of authority, performance and consistency since the summer of 2015. Former Liverpool boss went unbeaten in his first 14 games in charge.
Los Blancos played 25 matches during Benitez’s six-month tenure, winning 17 games, leveling five and three defeats at a win percentage of 68, the seventh-highest in the club’s history. Zidane will face his first challenge on Saturday as Real Madrid hosts seventh-placed Deportivo La Coruna. IMAGE/Reuters