Benitez to keep his job as Zidane says he's not ready to take over

Zinedine Zidane has hinted that he does not feel ready to replace Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid’s first-team coach - while the Spanish press claims Benitez will not be fired in any case.

The Frenchman, who is currently in charge of Los Blancos’ Castilla side, had been tipped in some quarters to succeed the 55-year-old after Saturday’s 4-0 home defeat to Barcelona in La Liga, with a report last week saying that he was already lined up to take over should Real lose the Clasico.

Real did lose the Clasico - and emphatically so - but Zidane has now spoken publicly and insists he still lacks what is needed to manage at the highest level.
Benitez to keep his job as Zidane says he's not ready to take over
“I’m the coach of Castilla. Benitez is [coach] of the first team and things are fine,” Zidane said after Castilla’s 0-0 draw with Barakaldo in Segunda B on Sunday.

“I’m here to coach Castilla. I ended last season with the feeling that something was missing. I’m stubborn as I didn’t meet my objectives [of promotion to La Segunda], but I must meet them."

He added: “I have a lot to learn, but a coach never knows too much. Like a player, I’m learning little by little and not rushing anything. I’m with Castilla and I’ll go on this way.”

Monday morning's Marca suggests that Zidane is right, and that both he and Benitez will stay in their posts for now: "Continuara..." shouts the back page above a picture of Benitez, meaning "He will carry on".

"Florentino [Perez] is backing Benitez and asking for cool heads, but the dressing room does not have faith in the coach," runs the sub-headline of the story.

It's not just the dressing room, either: the entire staff apparently "hasn't connected with him", while the players "can't bear him" regardless of whether or not they're being picked.
The paper adds that Zidane "would be first choice" for any change of manager ahead of June.

Marca's knives are out, for certain - but it seems equally clear that Benitez still retains the support of the most important man at the club, namely Perez. Benitez must be desperate for Real's next match to kick off, to give him a chance of a win and therefore some respite.

And Jose Manuel Antequera of Eurosport's Madrid office is certain that Benitez will survive for now - and adds that the fixture list will help him: "Rafa Benitez will not be removed at the moment. Only if Real Madrid lose the next two games (against Shakhtar Donetsk and Eibar) would he go straight away - if he did, Zidane would replace him no matter what he says. Benitez is lucky that the calendar is favourable."

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