Zinedine Zidane has looked to temper talk of him replacing Rafael Benítez as Real Madrid manager in the wake of their 4-0 thrashing by Barcelona in Saturday’s clásico.
Benítez is under intense pressure following the defeat, just five months after taking over at the club. Zidane is currently in charge of their Castilla team and has for some time been linked with the manager’s post. However, the 43-year-old has claimed he is not interested, or ready, in taking up a promotion at the Bernabéu.
“I am coach of Castilla and Benítez of the first team. Things are fine at the moment,” Zidane is reported as saying. “I am with Castilla and if I stay at the club it is the coach of Castilla. Last year, at the end of the season, I had the feeling that I still lacked something to take over the first team.”
Benítez should remain mindful of the Frenchman’s presence, however, given he has stated on record his desire to become a manager one day, saying in an interview with the Guardian in May 2013 that he “would definitely like to run a club one day.”
Club president Florentino Pérez will speak at a press conference on Monday evening as speculation grows about the future of manager Rafael Benítez following the 4-0 home thrashing against Barcelona.
“The Real Madrid president, Florentino Pérez, will hold a press conference at 7.30pm CET this evening in the Santiago Bernabéu following the board meeting,” read a statement.
Initial suggestions in Spain claimed that Benítez is expected to keep his job, although Cristiano Ronaldo was reported by Fox Sports Italia to have issued an ultimatum to Pérez claiming either Benítez is sacked or he leaves.
After his team’s clásico humiliation, Benítez said: “We are all responsible and now we have to show unity in order to win the next game and give the fans something to be happy about, which is something we failed to do [against Barcelona]. We need to get over this result and focus on the next match as soon as possible.”