Luis Garcia always believed Rafael Benitez was the “right man” for Real Madrid – but admits his former manager at Liverpool paid the price for poor results during his brief time in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Benitez lasted just seven months before president Florentino Perez decided to make a change, opting to promote Zinedine Zidane from his role with the Madrid’s B team in early January.
But Garcia, formerly of Barcelona, believes the problems at Madrid run much deeper than just the identity of the head coach.
“When he [Benitez] 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 told Omnisport.
“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.
“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 Benitiez probably wasn’t the problem.”
Garcia believes Perez will show more patience with Zidane, even if the Frenchman fails to win a trophy before the end of the season.
“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 o his way of playing.
“Real Madrid is not an easy team. The club is special, so we will have to see what happens.”