In a chat with TalkSport, former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has claimed the timing of Rafa Benitez’s was in order to reduce the amount of compensation to be paid to the Spaniard.
“They sacked Benitez now because before January 15, they have to pay only one year’s salary. After that, they have to pay two. That is the truth.
“They have done it now because of only that. Only one month before the chairman [Florentino Perez] said Benitez was the solution and not the problem.”
According to Calderon, Jose Mourinho, not Zidane, was Madrid’s first-choice replacement for Benitez.
“Zidane has come because he is here.
“The chosen one was Mou [Mourinho] but he decided not to come now. He didn’t want to come now. I am quite sure he was asked. They wanted Mourinho to come now. They thought it was a risky decision for Zidane to come now.
“I hope he can be as good a coach as he was a player – that would be fantastic. He has been coaching for only one-and-a-half years a second division team and he was [Carlo] Ancelotti’s assistant – that is his only experience.
“It is similar to Gary Neville but in a more difficult situation – Real Madrid is not Valencia. We have fantastic players but do we have a team to win the Champions League or the league?”
Benitez was sacked just seven months yesterday, January 4, into his three-year contract, with Zinedine Zidane appointed as his successor.