Former Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón has claimed the club’s new manager Zinedine Zidane was second choice behind Jose Mourinho.
Zidane, a Los Blancos legend, was named as the successor to the sacked Rafael Benitez earlier this week in an appointment that has drawn mixed reactions from Madridistas.
Speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show on talkSPORT, Calderon stated the only reason the club’s former midfielder has been thrust into the hot seat is because Mourinho didn‘t want the position.
The chosen one was Mourinho, but he decided not to come now. He didn’t want to come now.
Zidane has been appointed as manager because he was here. I’m quite sure they wanted Mourinho to come.
They think it is a risky decision to take Zidane. I hope he can be as good a coach as he was a player, but he has been coaching a Second Division team for only a year and a half, and before that, he was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid – that is his only experience.
I think they have chosen Zidane because he was here and he is the only one at this moment who can take the job.”
The timing of Benitez’s departure surprised many, with Real Madrid just four points behind La Liga leaders, Atletico Madrid and through to the last 16 of the Champions League, and with the ex-Liverpool boss having lost only three of his 25 matches in charge, scoring 69 goals in the process.
Now Calderon has revealed the reason behind Rafa Benítez shock sacking just four days into the New Year was purely financial here’s what he said:
They have sacked him now because, before January 15, they have to pay him only one year’s salary. After that, it would be two. That’s the truth of why they have made the decision now – and only that.”
Sources: Talksport.com and Bleacherreport.com