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Sports

Zinedine Zidane named Real Madrid coach

media Real Madrid's new coach Zinedine Zidane conducts a training session in … Photo: REUTERS/Juan Medina

French football legend Zinedine Zidane has vowed to put his heart into the “best club in the world” after he was named as Real Madrid coach. Zidane takes over following Rafael Benitez’s sacking, despite a limited coaching CV which includes management of Real’s reverse team Castilla.

“What we have to do and what I’m going to try to do is the best possible for this team to win something at the end of the year,” Zidane told journalists.

Real sit in third place in La Liga following a hapless spell under Benitez and languish four points behind city rivals Atletico and two behind arch rivals Barcelona.

“The important thing is to be with the team tomorrow and work,” said the three-time world player of the year. “I will put my heart into it for this club and so everything goes fine.".

Zidane becomes the 11th coach to be named by Madrid president Florentino Perez, although the length of the Frenchman’s contract was not specified.

Perez had said it was a difficult decision to sack Benitez but many commentators point to his inability to win over both Madrid’s fans and superstar players such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Zinedine Zidane this is your stadium and this is your club,” Real’s president Perez announced. “Zidane is undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in the history of football."

Zidane "knows better than anyone what it means to be in charge of the first team of Real Madrid," Perez declared. "He is fully aware of how hard, how exciting, as well as how complicated this job is.”

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