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Rafa Benitez fired: Real Madrid to axe boss, Ballon d’Or winner to replace him

In yet another major managerial shakeup, Real Madrid are making an immediate change at manager – firing Rafa Benitez after just seven months on the job.

According to the Mirror, Real Madrid will sack Benitez today after the team was held to a 2-2 draw against Valencia – falling four points behind Atletico Madrid on the La Liga table in the process.

Benitez led Real Madrid to the Champions League Round of 16 after dominating their group stage, but the team had some struggles in La Liga, most notably including a 4-0 loss in El Clasico to Barcelona. From November 8 to December 13, Real Madrid lost three out of five La Liga matches as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid continued to climb.

The club also had to contend with a scandal facing star forward Karim Benzema, who faces criminal blackmail charges that could result in prison time.

Per the source, Zinedine Zidane will replace Benitez after previously serving as the assistant manager from 2013 to 2014. As a player he won the Ballon d’Or in 1998 with Juventus and finished his playing career with Real Madrid.

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