Zinedine Zidane appointed as new manager of Real Madrid: Who said what
We take a look at reactions coming from across the world as Zidane appointed to the hot seat at the Bernabeu after Benitez was sacked
The inevitable has finally happened at the Santiago Bernabeu as the club president Florentino Perez disposes of yet another manager. Rafael Benitez was sacked just seven months into his contract following a board meeting on Monday night. He will be replaced by Real Madrid Castilla manager and former player Zinedine Zidane.
A number of factors such as his falling out with star Cristiano Ronaldo, the side’s inconsistent performances in La Liga, the team’s unattractive style of play under Benitez and growing unrest among the Real faithful regarding the former Valencia, Liverpool and Chelsea manager led to the decision to let him go midway through the season.
The 2-2 draw against Valencia last weekend proved to be the final straw for the Spanish tactician as Real Madrid failed to take advantage of Barcelona’s slip-up earlier on Saturday. Los Blancos are now third in the league table with 37 points from 18 games, two behind arch-rivals Barcelona and four behind cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.
Florentino Perez acknowledged the contributions of Benitez to the club and thanked him for his efforts. Speaking at a news conference on Monday, he said: "Let me make clear that this is a great professional and a great person. I want to acknowledge the dedication of Benitez during his time as coach of Real Madrid."
Also, he was confident that the Zidane was the best candidate to take the club forward as he unveiled him as the new manager of Los Merengues.
"Zidane knows better than anyone just what it means to lead the Real Madrid squad"
Zidane himself spoke at the press conference and expressed his gratitude for being given the opportunity to manage the ‘best club in the world’ and outlined his intentions for the way ahead.
"Firstly, I'd like to express my gratitude to the club and to you, presi, for giving me the opportunity to coach this team. We're the best club in the world, with the best fans in the world. The most important thing is to get down to work with the team tomorrow".
"Many thanks to everyone. It's an important day for me, as I'm sure is the case for everyone, and I'm excited, even more so than when I signed as a player; but that's to be expected. “ All I can say is that I'm going to put my heart and soul into this club to try to ensure everything turns out well".
New Real Madrid manager Zidane’s former teammate and Manchester United legend David Beckham hailed the decision to appoint the Frenchman as the club boss calling him ‘ the best person for the job’.
His Instagram post read, “Does it get any better than this ?? A man that has been the best at a game we all love, taking over of a club that myself and many more people love. Someone with drive, passion and also doesn't accept failure on any level. Taking over from a manager that has huge experience and respect in the game, but taking on a position that he will relish.”
Former England and Newcastle great Alan Shearer expressed his thoughts on Zidane’s appointment as the new manager of Real Madrid.
As I said cheap dig. Zidane has been coaching at different levels at the club for years. Preparing for exactly this. https://t.co/1h9K5hd6ib— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) January 4, 2016
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola took time out to congratulate Zidane on his new adventure and wished him good luck.
Good luck Zinedine Zidane! pic.twitter.com/F7Avnv4Ap2— PepTeam (@PepTeam) January 4, 2016
Former Real midfielder Xabi Alonso and former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba also extended their best wishes for the French legend as he embarks on his journey as the boss at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Suerte Zizou!! pic.twitter.com/BWk3PKzIEd— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) January 4, 201