Rafa Benitez‘s tenure in charge at Real Madrid lasted just seven months, as the Spaniard was sacked 18 games into the La Liga season.
The move was thought to be coming for some time now, as Benitez was replaced by Real’s B team coach and legendary midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
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Benitez lost just three of his 25 games in charge and led Real to the last 16 in the Champions League, but reported tensions between the manager and his players, as well as with club president Florentino Perez, led to his firing earlier this week.
Despite his tumultuous time at the Bernabeu, Benitez took the decision with class and released the following statement on his website. Born and raised in Madrid, Benitez said it was “an honor and privilege” to manage Real, and wished good luck to Zidane moving forward.
Now, at the end of my time as first team coach of Real Madrid, I would like to use this article to say goodbye to everyone at every level of the club. I want everyone at the club from the Board of directors, executives, workers and all of the fans, know that it has been an honour and privilege to be in charge at this club.were I grew up as a person, player and coach from the lowest categories through to the first team. As a madridista from Madrid, steeped in the traditions and values of this institution, which I learned in the old sports city of Castellana, it has been an honour to work for these colours. I would especially like to thank everyone at the new sports city and the Santiago Bernabéu who since my first steps through the door have supported me and made my work easier. Thanks to all for helping.
With all that I have said still in mind, I would like to wish good luck to Zinedine Zidane,my successor, and his staff. To all the players, coaches and staff in both Valdebebas and Bernabéu, I wish all the best and also good luck.
With all my respect and thanks… HALA MADRID and NOTHING ELSE.