After weeks of speculation surrounding Rafael Benitez and his future as the Real Madrid manager. Real have taken the decision to sack Benitez and replace him with former player and French International Zinedine Zindane. Benitez had been in charge of Real for just over seven months, having left his position as manager of Napoli to replace Carlo Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The appointment meant a return to Real for Benitez, having played for the Real Madrid B and starting his coaching with Real at the age of 26.
Real took the decision to remove Benitez from his position at an emergency board this afternoon following last night’s 2-2 draw with Valencia. That result left Madrid third in Spanish La Liga, two points behind Barcelona and four points behind City rivals Atletico. Has also guided Real into the last sixteen of the Champions League, where they will come against Italian side Roma. Benitez has taken charge of 25 games, with Real losing just three of those games and having a win percentage of 68%.
The speculation surrounding Benitez and his future, had also indicated that Jose Mourinho was in line for a return to Real Madrid following his sacking by Chelsea. But Real President Florentino Perez has instead opted to hand the reigns to former Real Madrid favourite Zinedine Zidane for now at least. Zidane has held several positions with Real Madrid following his retirement. In 2010 he was appointed as a special advisor to the Real Madrid first team following calls by then manager Mourinho for the former French midfielder to work more closely with the team.
In July 2011 Zindane was named as the new sporting director for Real Madrid. The next position he held within the club was that of assistant to Carlo Ancelotti in the 2013/14 season. Following this he was appointed as the manager of the Real Madrid reserve side. Now with the removal of Benitez, Perez has decided that Zidane is the man to take Madrid to the end of the season at least. Will the new man have to win a trophy to have any chance of keeping the job for the start of 2016/17 season, only time will tell.