Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has confirmed head coach Rafael Benitez retains his backing following the humbling 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico.
Two goals from Luis Suarez, along with strikes from Neymar and Andres Iniesta, condemned Madrid to a shock loss at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
During the match, the home fans were quick to demonstrate their dissatisfaction by booing and waving white handkerchiefs.
That result piled the pressure on Benitez, who has already faced criticism for his seemingly conservative tactical approach and been forced to repel probing questions about his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Perez, though, insisted the former Liverpool boss can rely on his continued support, calling him “the chosen one” despite the team sitting third in La Liga, six points behind leaders Barca after 12 matches.
However, the president did stress that this support was not necessarily timeless, after previous coaches Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti were eventually dismissed having similarly received public backing.
“We want to communicate that Rafa Benitez has all our support and confidence,” said the Madrid president at a media conference.
“We have had a board meeting and analysed the sporting situation at Real Madrid. Rafa has all the ability and has only just started his job here, let him keep working and he will achieve his objectives.
“I am talking about this moment we are in now, I cannot say what will happen in the future – nobody knows what could happen in six months.
“Rafael Benitez is the chosen one to bring success to this squad that since January has struggled and now more than ever he needs the support of all of our followers.
“We offer full support for our coach who will be capable of turning this situation around. The team has suffered a deterioration since January.
“I understand the unhappiness and the anger of the fanbase with what happened on Saturday, but I ask them that they support the team.
“We are convinced that we have a great squad that will give much happiness to a fanbase that deserves everything.
“We chose Rafa with confidence he could turn it around.”
Perez also discussed the criticism of his own position, insisting he does not influence team selection and dismissing talk of a presidential election.
He continued: “No coach has ever said that I have suggested anything to them since I have been here – the coach has full autonomy and plenty of power.
“Is there a campaign against me? I believe there is, you believe there is and so does everyone else here.
“The board of directors has not said not even one word about elections.”
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