Real Madrid have sacked coach Rafa Benitez after less than half a season in charge and promoted former France and Real great Zinedine Zidane from the B team to replace him, president Florentino Perez said on Monday.
Perez announced the dismissal of Benitez, who had a contract until June 2018, following a board meeting and Zidane was present at the president’s news conference at the Bernabeu stadium.
“Firstly I would like to thank the club and the president for giving me the chance to coach this team,” Zidane said.
“We have the best club in the world and the best fans in the world,” the Frenchman added.
Renowned for his elegance, vision, ball control and technique, Zidane was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. He is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
Zidane is of Algerian descent. His parents, Smaïl and Malika, emigrated to Paris from the village of Aguemoune in the region of Kabylie in northern Algeria in 1953 before the start of the Algerian War.