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Spain: Zidane holds first training session as Real Madrid boss01:04

Spain: Zidane holds first training session as Real Madrid boss

Spain, Valdebebas
January 5, 2016 at 09:08 GMT +00:00 · Published

French football legend and new Real Madrid manger Zinedine Zidane led his first training session with his squad at Real's Ciudad training ground in Valdebebas, Tuesday.

Around 6,000 supporters were in attendance and cheered when the former France captain led his players out onto the training pitch.

Zidane’s first game at the helm of one of the world’s biggest clubs will take place on Saturday against Deportivo La Coruna at the Bernabeu stadium. All Real Madrid players attended the training, except Gareth Bale who followed an individual programme at the gym due to a minor muscle injury.

Former Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez was sacked on Monday after seven tumultuous months in charge at the Bernabeu. The appointment of World Cup Winner and former Real Madrid player Zidane is considered by many as a gamble for Real’s President Florentino Perez, as the Frenchman has no experience of managing a top level club and was promoted from his coaching role at Real's reserve team. While Zidane has been seen as a manager in-waiting at Real for several years, the football legend was not expected to be promoted so soon.

Benitez's fate was decided following an emergency board meeting. Speculation over the future of Benitez had been mounting in previous weeks, with numerous stories of arguments between the coach and his players hitting headlines. His position at the club was weakened by a 4-0 defeat to rivals Barcelona FC in November's ' El Classico' match.

Benitez’s sacking comes in spite of the fact that his team only lost three out of 25 matches the Spaniard oversaw. Real's players and fans called for what they consider a less conservative style and more expansive, attacking style of play.

Benitez's last game in charge was a 2-2 draw against Valenica, the club where the erstwhile manager made his name. The draw left Real in third place in Spain's football league La Liga, four points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Spain: Zidane holds first training session as Real Madrid boss01:04
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French football legend and new Real Madrid manger Zinedine Zidane led his first training session with his squad at Real's Ciudad training ground in Valdebebas, Tuesday.

Around 6,000 supporters were in attendance and cheered when the former France captain led his players out onto the training pitch.

Zidane’s first game at the helm of one of the world’s biggest clubs will take place on Saturday against Deportivo La Coruna at the Bernabeu stadium. All Real Madrid players attended the training, except Gareth Bale who followed an individual programme at the gym due to a minor muscle injury.

Former Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez was sacked on Monday after seven tumultuous months in charge at the Bernabeu. The appointment of World Cup Winner and former Real Madrid player Zidane is considered by many as a gamble for Real’s President Florentino Perez, as the Frenchman has no experience of managing a top level club and was promoted from his coaching role at Real's reserve team. While Zidane has been seen as a manager in-waiting at Real for several years, the football legend was not expected to be promoted so soon.

Benitez's fate was decided following an emergency board meeting. Speculation over the future of Benitez had been mounting in previous weeks, with numerous stories of arguments between the coach and his players hitting headlines. His position at the club was weakened by a 4-0 defeat to rivals Barcelona FC in November's ' El Classico' match.

Benitez’s sacking comes in spite of the fact that his team only lost three out of 25 matches the Spaniard oversaw. Real's players and fans called for what they consider a less conservative style and more expansive, attacking style of play.

Benitez's last game in charge was a 2-2 draw against Valenica, the club where the erstwhile manager made his name. The draw left Real in third place in Spain's football league La Liga, four points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid.