According to Marca, the rumors that have been swirling all day about Real Madrid manager Rafa Benítez’s job status were justified, as he indeed has been fired. Taking his place will be Real’s legendary player and heretofore coach of the reserve team, Zinedine Zidane.

Benítez’s time at the helm of the club that groomed him as both a player and a coach has looked like it would come to an end sooner than later for a while now. The move, which Marca claims will be officially announced by the club sometime later today, comes off the heels of yet another disappointing result against one of the stronger sides in Spain, as Real drew away at Valencia yesterday.

Speculation on Benítez’s imminent sacking went into overdrive this morning after the Spanish press broke the news that club president Florentino Pérez had called an emergency meeting with the club’s braintrust to determine what to do in light of this latest setback. Calling the meeting itself was strong evidence that Pérez and Co. planned on getting rid of the manager, and Marca’s report bears that out. Saturday’s match against Deportivo La Coruña will be Zidane’s first game managing a senior club team.

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[Marca]

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