On the day many football fans across Europe returned to their jobs after the Christmas break, Rafa Benitez became unemployed.
Despite the fact Real Madrid have scored an incredible 25 goals in their last four home games, the Spanish manager was relieved of his duties via an official press conference on Tuesday evening, with Zinedine Zidane taking his place. The announcement, incidentally, was delayed for a rather bizarre reason:
It's the second time Benitez has been fired in his first season in charge—it also happened at Internazionale in 2010—and Twitter has generally reacted with mirth:
The La Liga script writers deserve credit for the fact that Benitez's last act as Madrid manager was the visit to the Mestalla, where Los Blancos went down to 10 men and lost the lead twice. Not only was this the club where Rafa enjoyed so much success, but the former Liverpool man was brought down by one of Manchester's most famous sons:
Benitez will be succeeded by legendary French midfielder Zidane, stepping up from his role with the Castilla side:
Some Twitter users, including this writer, made comparisons to Alan Shearer returning to Newcastle. The man himself did not appreciate this:
There was the suggestion that Florentino Perez's old pal, Jose Mourinho, might be enjoying the unfolding events:
And apparently, one Twitter user made a declaration last night she may regret: