The respected French newspaper L’Equipe was right after all. Last month the newspaper , which has close ties with French superstar Zinedine Zidane, reported that Zuzu will replace Rafael Benitez imminently as Real Madrid manager.
The newspaper reported that Zidane would replace Rafa “imminently” and despite surviving the winter break, Rafa could not survive more dropped points, this time away to Valencia at the weekend.
Zidane becomes the ninth manager of Real Madrid in the past 10 years, and has a huge task in his first managerial role.
At the press conference announcing the firing of Benitez and the hiring of Zidane, Madrid president Florentino Pérez said:
“We’ve taken what was a very difficult decision, especially for myself, to terminate Rafa Benítez’s contract as head coach. In Benítez, we’re talking about a top professional and a great man. I want to thank him for the commitment he has shown over the course of the past months”.
“Zinedine Zidane will be the Real Madrid first-team coach. There’s absolutely no doubting that he’s one of the game’s all-time greats. He knows better than anyone else just what it means to lead a Real Madrid squad and just how tough a position it is. He already knows the players, and with him as assistant manager, the team lifted the club’s tenth European Cup”, Pérez stated, before addressing Zidane directly: “I know that for you the word impossible doesn’t exist”.
Zidane addressed the media for the first time as Real Madrid manager and promised to put his “whole heart” into the job during his unveiling at the Bernabéu.
He went on to state that he and everyone at the club would “try to do the best we can so that this team wins something at the end of the year”, adding that he felt “more emotional” even than when he signed for ‘Los Blancos’ as a player in 2001.
“Firstly, I want to thank our president for giving me the opportunity to manage this team. We have the best club in the world and the best fans in the world and we have to try to do the best we can so that this team wins something at the end of the year. I can only say that I’m going to do everything possible, the best I can along with all the players and I think everything’ll turn out fine, that’s all”, stated Zidane in his first words as manager.
The Frenchman, who up until now held the post as coach of Real Madrid Castilla, added in his brief appearance that,
“the most important thing is to be with the team tomorrow and get to work”, five days away from his opening match in charge at home to Deportivo La Coruña.”Today is a significant day for me and I’m a bit emotional, more so than when I signed as a player, but that’s normal. I’m going to give my whole heart for this club to try and make sure everything turns out well”, promised the former Real Madrid player.
Do you think Zidane will be a success as Real Madrid manager?