Zinedine Zidane takes over Real Madrid as Benitez is shown the exit

Real Madrid has sacked manager Rafael Benitez, and club legend Zinedine Zidane will assume the role, reports Spanish publication, Marca.

The team currently sits third in the La Liga table, four points adrift of leaders Atletico. They were held 2-2 on Sunday by Valencia at the Mestalla in Benitez’s last match in charge of the side.

A Champions League winner with Liverpool, this was Benitez’s first season at the helm of the team, only having signed a three-year deal in June to succeed Carlo Ancelotti. Los Blancos have lost three matches thus far this term, including an embarrassing 4-0 home defeat to arch-rivals Barcelona in November.

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The team was disqualified from the Copa del Rey last month after fielding an ineligible player. Russian winger Denis Cheryshev, who was on loan last season at Villarreal, should have been suspended for Real’s tie with third-tier Cadiz due to yellow card accumulation in last year’s competition, but played and scored in a 3-1 win.

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