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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rafa Benitez wasn't the problem at Real Madrid - Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia believes Rafa Benitez was "the right man" for Real Madrid, and suggested the former Liverpool boss may not have been the problem during his time at the Bernabeu.

Benitez was sacked in January, just seven months after being hired to succeed previous boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Garcia, who played under Benitez at Liverpool, acknowledged however that the problems at the club may have been bigger than the manager, as evidenced by the club's inability to gain ground on Barcelona since his exit.

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"When he first arrived I thought he was the right man. He knew the club, he was there for many years before and he knew how Real Madrid works," Garcia said in an interview done by his new Australian League club, the Central Coast Mariners.

"He's been waiting for that chance for many years. We all knew that he would finish up one day managing Real Madrid.

"But at the end, football is all about results. It's not about the coach, the players or the club, it's about the results.

"It has been a long time [for Madrid] without winning a trophy. They won the Champions League two years ago, but La Liga has been very difficult. Madrid is about trophies. They are not looking to finish second.

Zinedine Zidane, left, took over for Rafa Benitez in January.

"When Benitez arrived, he tried to adapt the team to the way he works, but it didn't work out.

"We saw that when Zidane took over. Things started very well, as often happens when a team changes their manager. But Real Madrid still has a lot of work to do, which means Rafa Benitez probably wasn't the problem."

Garcia, though, believes new coach Zinedine Zidane will be given more rope than his Spanish predecessor.

"Even if the league and the Champions League don't go well this season, they will give him another chance next year," he added.

"They will re-organise the team, try to bring in a couple of players that can adapt to his way of playing.

"Real Madrid is not an easy team. The club is special, so we will have to see what happens."


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