Los Blancos are four points off Barcelona at the top of the table after yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia – and Florentino Perez has given him the boot.
Rafa Benitez has been sacked by Real Madrid – seven months after he took charge of the club.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss has lost three of his 18 La Liga games in charge, though Los Blancos were kicked out out of the Copa Del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.
Zinedine Zidane is current favourite to take over. Here are five other contenders.
Who’s next? Five contenders
Los Blancos missed the chance to gain ground on La Liga favourites Barcelona over the weekend, who were held to a 0-0 draw in the Catalan derby with Espanyol.
Real were held to a 2-2 draw by Gary Neville’s Valencia at the Mestalla after being pegged back twice.
Club president Florentino Perez held a meeting at the Bernabeu on Monday afternoon to confirm that the former Liverpool manager’s time in the Spanish capital was up.
It’s safe to say the fans didn’t exactly take to Benitez.
Here’s a video from last month’s win over Real Sociedad.
The manager’s name was read about before kick-off to a chorus of boos and whistles from the supporters in attendance in the Spanish capital.
The final straw
Last night’s draw over Valencia was the last straw for president Perez, who decided to axe the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss this afternoon.
The Spaniard was taking his new team back to his former stomping ground looking for a win which would’ve taken them within two points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.
However, Real Madrid had to settle for a point as goals from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were cancelled out by Daniel Parejo and Paco Alcacer.
While Benitez has struggled to win over the Bernabeu faithful since replacing Carlo Ancelotti as boss in the summer, Valencia’s supporters clearly still hold plenty of affection for him.
Zinedine Zidane, coach of Real Madrid’s second team, Castilla, is ready to assume the hot seat.
The World Cup winning midfielder has long been earmarked for the top job at the Bernabeu and will be pressed into action should Perez make the big call and sack Rafa.
Key players in the Madrid dressing room have begun to turn against Benitez, and it could be the decisive factor in convincing the club’s board to do away with the Champions League-winning coach.
Zinedine Zidane: Set to take charge
Rafael Benitez has been sacked as manager of Real Madrid – seven months after he took charge.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss has endured a tough season at the Bernabeu since taking over in June, and while he only finds his side just four points off Barcelona at the top of La Liga he has had fallouts with key players and been criticised for a defensive style of football.
Rafa Benitez was also denied the chance for another piece of silverware, thesacked as manager of Real Madrid , after an administrative gaffe saw them expelled for fielding an ineligible player against Cadiz.
It leaves the Champions League as their most likely chance of glory this season, but club president Florentino Perez has opted for a change ahead of their round-of-16 tie with Roma next month.