‘We have complete faith in him’: Rafa Benitez to remain as Real Madrid manager

Spaniard given vote of confidence by Florentino Perez.

Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez. AP Photo
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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has backed coach Rafa Benitez despite Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 drubbing at home to bitter rivals Barcelona in the first clasico of the Spanish league season.

Benitez has only been in charge of Madrid since the summer, but his future has been the subject of much discussion after a second successive defeat left them six points adrift of league leaders Barca.

“We analysed the sporting situation and I want to inform you that our coach Rafa Benitez has our full support and our full confidence,” Perez told a packed news conference after a board meeting at the Bernabeu in Madrid.

Madrid’s thrashing prompted angry fans to chant for construction magnate Perez to step down, but he has not heeded their calls and said he expects the world’s richest club by income to return to winning ways soon.

“His job has only just started,” Perez said. “Let him keep working, he will achieve his objectives.”

Perez said he understood the “disappointment of fans after what happened,” in the humiliating defeat to Barcelona but asked them to “more than ever” display their “support to the team and to the players”.

Meanwhile, Madrid defenders Marcelo and Sergio Ramos will not feature in Wednesday’s Uefa Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine due to injury, the club said yesterday.

After undergoing a series of tests, Brazil left-back Marcelo was diagnosed with a thigh injury, while Ramos is still suffering from a dislocated left shoulder that forced him to play with a painkilling injection on Saturday.