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Real Madrid

Rafa Benitez will face plenty of challenges at Real Madrid if hired

A disappointing season for Real Madrid by their lofty standards, having failed to win La Liga or the Champions League and the campaign ending with the sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Rafa Benitez is expected to become Real Madrid's next manager and has a career winning percentage of 50.88.

To say Florentino Perez's decision to sack Carlo Ancelotti on Monday was an unpopular one among Real Madrid fans is putting it lightly. The Madrid president has made plenty of questionable calls over his two stints at the Bernabeu helm but he could be set to make his most controversial one yet when he names the Italian's successor next week.

Rafa Benitez is likely all set to swap Napoli for Madrid after announcing his decision to call time on a two-year stint in Serie A at a press conference on...

Cristiano Ronaldo eclipses his best in an up-and-down Real Madrid campaign

The ESPN FC panel respond to your tweets on how team chemistry is affected when a coach or player leaves a club, how long the next Real Madrid coach will last and the Arturo Vidal to Arsenal transfer rumours.

Real Madrid's season ended in disappointment after failing to win La Liga or the Champions League. A second-placed league finish and semifinal exit in Europe would usually amount to a decent campaign elsewhere, but not in the Spanish capital.

Despite that, however, there have been positives. Carlo Ancelotti guided his team to the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup and in between chalked up a new Spanish club record of 22 consecutive wins.

It wasn't enough to save his job.

Player ratings (1-10;...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid suffer La Liga and Champions League woe

The ESPN FC crew respond to the reports suggesting Carlo Ancelotti will be replaced by Rafael Benitez at Real Madrid next season.

With La Liga over, here's a look back at Real Madrid's campaign as thoughts turn toward the summer and next season.

Your season in a sentence and final grade: B

To quote Sven-Goran Eriksson during his England reign: "First half good, second half not so good."

Highlight

The Club World Cup is little more than a trinket to Real, so I'll say the 3-1 victory over Barcelona at the Bernabeu. Real were just getting into their stride and had battered Levante 5-0 a week earlier, with Carlo Ancelotti successfully...

 By Chris Wright

Ronaldo, Ibra, Van Gaal and an armadillo in the Toe Poke awards

Fan of the season

British Prime Minister (and supposedly "lifelong" Aston Villa fan) David Cameron, who recently suffered the brain-muddle of temporarily forgetting which football team he supports while at a political event.

Hey, it happens to us all once in a while, right? At least he got the club colours right.

Mascot of the season

Austria Vienna mascot Super Leo, who stumbled on to the middle of the pitch in a drunken stupor after the final whistle and promptly collapsed in an unmoveable heap...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rafa Benitez may be the X factor to get Raheem Sterling to Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains why he believes Raheem Sterling should leave Anfield this season.

As the majority of the world's leagues ready for the season's end, the rumours continue to pick up steam. Things are starting to get real, transfer fans.

Benitez the Sterling X factor?

It's been a few days since Transfer Talk touched on Raheem Sterling's situation. "Back then," the talk was not about if Sterling would leave, but about how much he would cost the team in question who bought him: a mooted £60 million.

Now the Mirror is shedding some light on who the team in question...

 By Rob Train

Benitez, Klopp or Zidane: Who should replace Ancelotti at Real Madrid?

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez announces that Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as manager after two seasons in charge of the Spanish club.

Florentino Perez called time on Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid tenure on Monday evening in a press conference that left more questions posed than answered.

Explaining his reasoning for axing the coach who delivered the long-awaited Decima in his first season, Perez simply said: "I don't know what Ancelotti did wrong." The answer from Real players and fans is "not much," given the support the manager received from the stands and the dressing room on Saturday while Perez polished his guillotine.

Only...