Real Madrid's next manager

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Before we get into whether the expected new man to be unveiled at Real Madrid is right for the position, we should at least look at whom he is replacing.

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked by the board of Real Madrid just a year after delivering La Decima, the long awaited 10th European Cup trophy.

In addition to that, just six months after taking Los Blancos on a 22-match unbeaten run and a successful Club World Cup.

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In fact, in the two seasons that the Italian was in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ancelotti had a win percentage of 74 percent. The best in Real Madrid's history.

So now that's cleared up, what can the club possibly gain by employing Rafael Benitez?

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Rafa going home

Well, for a start they will have a manager who probably has always had the club close to his heart. How could it not be, given that it was the first club that he played for as a young player.

He was at Real Madrid Castilla for seven years before joining the club's coaching staff at just 26 years of age.

His tenure took in stints with the U19 and reserve teams, eventually being promoted to first-team assistant manager under Vicente Del Bosque.

There is no doubt that Benitez has the CV to impress even the most hard-nosed employers, having won the Champions League with Liverpool and taking Valencia to European success.

A pedigree at the top level is without question.

But with only a Coppa Italia win to show for his time at Napoli, his most recent managerial appointment, there's an argument that this is a manager not at the top of his game at this juncture.

Expert tactician

With his tactical acumen, Benitez should be able to win over the doubters fairly quickly, but an abrasive management style might not sit well with Cristiano Ronaldo particularly.

A player that needs to be praised and "looked after," Ronaldo was very public in his support of Ancelotti, so Benitez will be on the back foot from the get-go.

If the manager should then show the same ruthlessness which dominated his time at Liverpool, where Steven Gerrard often noted that he just wanted an acknowledgment, that never came, after a decent performance, Benitez could well run into problems straight away.

Ancelotti was as much loved by the playing staff as he was respected. Benitez will get the respect he deserves but is highly likely not to be as well liked as his predecessor.


And in any event, he will need to be more successful than the Italian year on year or risk the same fate in 12 or 24 months time.

Losing 16 league games in the last two seasons is not a record that would necessarily be acceptable in Madrid.

But Florentino Perez needs some sort of stability at Real now. There have been 21 changes of manager since Benitez was Del Bosque's understudy in 1994 is, frankly, ridiculous.

If a manager who has come full circle provides that stability, then he will at least have succeeded in some way.

Is Benitez the right choice? Let us know below!

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La Liga
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
Carlo Ancelotti
Gareth Bale

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