Luis Fernandez has backed fellow former France international Zinedine Zidane to take over at Real Madrid after Rafael Benitez’s tenure as coach comes to an end.
Benitez was appointed as the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti in June following two seasons at Serie A side Napoli.
Ancelotti’s dismissal in May came a year after he guided Real to an historic 10th UEFA Champions League title.
Spanish-born Fernandez, who enjoyed managerial stints at Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Real Betis and is currently in charge Guinea’s national side, was disappointed by the decision to part company with Ancelotti but feels Real are preparing to eventually hand the reins to Zidane.
Zidane spent five seasons at Real as a player – winning La Liga and famously scoring the decisive goal in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final – and served as assistant to Ancelotti in 2013-14 before taking over reserve side Real Madrid Castilla.
“I would have preferred Carlo to stay,” Fernandez told Omnisport. “The season before [last] they [Real] won the 10th Champions League. They were competing against a great Barcelona team, a great [Lionel] Messi.
“I was disappointed that he left the club. I would have liked him to stay in the club.
“Benitez doesn’t have the same style. They prepare everything for Zizou, who I think will be the next Real Madrid coach.”