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Dec 23, 2005

Floro named new Real Madrid director of football

MADRID, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Real Madrid named former coach Benito Floro as director of football on Friday.

'Floro is the ideal man to take on this responsibility,' Real vice-president Emilio Butragueno told a news conference at the Bernabeu.

'He is a student of football, methodical in his approach, familiar with Real Madrid and we have no doubt that this is the right decision for the club.'

Floro replaces former Italy and AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi who quit as director of football on Dec. 6, a year after joining the nine-times European champions.

Butragueno said that the 53-year-old Spaniard, who coached Real between 1992 and 1994, would work alongside coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro who took charge of the team when Vanderlei Luxemburgo was sacked at the start of the month.

'My intention is to try to establish a common style of play, a common identity and sentiment right through the club in order to achieve positive results,' said Floro.

DISAPPOINTING START

Real have not won a major trophy since June 2003 and have made a disappointing start to this season. They lie fifth in the Primera Liga, 11 points behind league leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona.

Floro made his name as a coach when he steered Albacete from the third to the first division in the space of three seasons in the early 1990s.

He was snapped up by Real Madrid in 1992 and guided them to victory in the 1993 King's Cup. They lost the league championship on the final day of the season and he was fired during the following campaign after a string of poor results.

After working as a coach in Japan and Mexico he returned to Spain to take charge of Villarreal in 2002, leading them to 15th in the Primera Liga in his first season.

He resigned midway through the following season, blaming a lack of effort from some players.

Floro took charge of Real Mallorca in July 2004 after Luis Aragones left to take charge of the Spanish national team.

He was sacked just two months into the season after Mallorca fell to second from bottom of the Primera Liga. He has not coached since.

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