BREAKING NEWS: Real Madrid sack Benitez, turn to Zidane


Real Madrid have sacked head coach Rafael Benitez after just seven months in charge and appointed Zinedine Zidane as his successor.

Benitez, 55, has paid the price for an uninspiring start to the season with Sunday's 2-2 draw at Valencia leaving Madrid third in La Liga, four points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid and two behind arch-rivals Barcelona, who also have a game in hand.

Results on the pitch only tell half the story, though, with persistent rumours that senior players at the Santiago Bernabeu were underwhelmed by Benitez's cautious approach.

And with fans also voicing their disapproval - Benitez's name was loudly whistled when read out ahead of the game against Real Sociedad on December 30 - the writing has appeared on the wall for some time.

Madrid president Florentino Perez called an emergency board meeting on Monday after which it was confirmed Benitez had been dismissed and Zidane drafted in.

The former France midfielder made over 150 appearances for Madrid between 2001-2006 before starting his coaching career in 2013 under then Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.

He then assumed control of Castilla - Real Madrid's reserve side - during which time he gained his UEFA Pro Licence.