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Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Habas insists sacking Rafael Benitez was a mistake

Antonio Habas worked as an assistant under Benitez during his tenure as manager at Valencia

rafa benitez sacking wrong
Real Madrid sacked Rafa Benitez on Monday

Atletico De Kolkata manager Antonio Habas has hit out at Real Madrid for sacking Rafael Benitez. The Spaniard, who worked as an assistant under Benitez during his tenure as manager at Valencia, referred to the development as a sacking which was shocking. Zinedine Zidane has been appointed as the new manager at the Bernabeu following Benitez’s departure

Benitez was given marching orders just around two weeks after Real thrashed Rayo Vallecano 10-2 in the league. However, a display in the weekend that witnessed the Los Blancos throwing away a 2-1 lead to draw 2-2 against Benitez’s former club Valencia meant that the Spaniard’s time at the club was over. “I think this is a mistake,” Habas who guided ISL side Atletico de Kolkata to the championship in its inaugural edition, said on Wednesday.

"Benitez is always good at the final stages. Real Madrid should have been more patient with him, the time to analyse the team (Real Madrid) is in February during the Champions League knockout stages,” he added, hinting that Florentino Perez might have pulled the trigger a bit early. 

According to reports, Real did not inform Benitez of his dismissal before announcing his replacement, Zidane. "The way is not good," said Habas on the bad treatment given to his former boss. "This is football now. All is possible,” he added.

Benitez reaped success at Valencia and Liverpool with time

Benitez had achieved success at former clubs Valencia and Liverpool from such pressure situations, he was on the verge of losing his job at Valencia but a 3-2 success at Espanyol saved his blushes and five months later, he guided them to a highly unlikely league title triumph.

Also during Liverpool’s Champions League winning campaign, Steven Gerrard’s 86th-minute goal helped the Reds qualify for the knockout stages from Group A after the teams were level on points on the last day. The English giants then went on to win the final in Istanbul, in what turned out to be one of the best come-backs in the history of football. Liverpool turned around a three-goal first half deficit against AC Milan and went on to win 3-2 on penalties.

However, Real and Perez refused to wait that long with Benitez and he was sacked a week after the President had backed him by saying, “Benitez is not the problem, Benitez is the solution.” He faced the axe in less than seven months after his appointment and newly appointed manager Zidane is Real’s 11th manager in 12 years under club president Perez. 

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