Former Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez has issued a statement in which he says it was an honour to have managed Los Blancos.
The 55-year-old was fired on Monday evening after just seven months in charge – a disappointing outcome for someone who grew up in the youth teams and was a coach in his early days at Real Madrid Castilla.
Real had been poor in big games this season – especially the hammering by Barcelona at home in November. There were also reports of fallings out with senior players while fans were not happy with the style of play overall.
Since his sacking, Zinedine Zidane has been installed as the new coach of the first team on a two and a half year contract.
In a statement issued by Benitez, the former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Napoli boss said it was an honour to manage his boyhood club.
“I would like to use this article to say goodbye to everyone at every level of the club. I want everyone at the club from the board of directors, executives, workers and all of the fans to know it has been an honour and privilege to be in charge at this club where I grew up as a person, player and coach,” he stated.
And he added: “As a ‘madridista’, steeped in the traditions and values of this institution, which I learned in the old sports city of Castellana, it has been an honour to work for these colours. I would especially like to thank everyone at the new sports city and the Santiago Bernabeu who since my first steps through the door have supported me and made my work easier. Thanks to all for helping.”