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23rd Nov 2015

‘Chosen One’ Rafa Benitez safe at Real Madrid as president Florentino Perez gives ‘all our support’

Over to you Cristiano

Gareth Makim

Advantage Benitez.

Forced to choose between his star player and his manager, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has this evening given his backing to ‘the chosen one’, Rafael Benitez, in the battle for control of the club’s dressing room.

A hastily arranged press conference following Saturday night’s humbling 4-0 defeat by Barcelona at the Bernabeu seemed likely to herald the end of the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager’s time in charge of the club where he began his coaching career.

However, amid reports that Cristiano Ronaldo, unhappy with the direction of the team and his role in it, delivered a him-or-me ultimatum to Perez in the wake of the Clasico catastrophe, Perez has said enough is enough and come down on the side of a manager who has only suffered two defeats this term.

Perez told the media: “We have had a board meeting and analysed the sporting situation at Real Madrid.

“Rafa has all our support and all our confidence.”

Perez then made a plea for unity within the squad and the impatient fanbase.

“We are convinced that we have a great squad that will give much happiness to a fanbase that deserves everything,” the 68-year-old said. “Rafael Benitez is the chosen one to bring success to this squad that since January has struggled. Now more than ever he needs the support of all of our followers.”

With Benitez newly empowered by Perez, the underperforming Ronaldo could find himself being dropped for some of Real’s upcoming fixtures as the manager looks to build a more balanced unit built around the talents of Gareth Bale.

The Portugal superstar has threatened to leave the club if his wishes are not accommodated and if he does indeed follow through then he is set to be offered an exit plan by both Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United, whose transfer dealings with Real descended into farce this summer as the Spaniards failed to seal a deal for goalkeeper David De Gea.

Of course, a week is a long time in the politics of Real Madrid, and Perez made sure to cover his backside by dropping in this little beauty:

“I’m talking about this moment we are in now, I can not say what will happen in the future, nobody knows what could happen in six months.”

This ain’t over yet, folks.