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"The best person for the job."
Another former Madrid man, Xabi Alonso, wished Zidane "luck", tweeting: "Suerte Zizou!!", while Didier Drogba, like the Frenchman, a United Nations Development Programme ambassador, tweeted: "Good luck, big bro."
Zidane was unveiled by club president Florentino Perez – who described him as "undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in the history of football" – at a press conference during which Benitez’s exit was also confirmed, and the new boss, expected to sign a two-and-a-half year deal on Tuesday, immediately signalled his intention to end a testing campaign with silverware.
"I want to thank the club and thank the president for giving me the opportunity to train this club.
"It’s the best club in the world with the best fan-base in the world. I want to do my very best to ensure that this club at the end of the season will have a trophy.
"I will be working hard with all the players and I think it will go well. I am looking forward to working with everybody tomorrow. Tomorrow is when the work starts.
"Thank you to everyone. It is an important day for me, it’s an emotional day, even more emotional than the day I signed as a player for the club.
"I will put all the heart I have into this job for the club. Thank you very much."
Real are currently in third place in the Primera Division table, four points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, and will face Italian side Roma in the last 16 of the Champions League when the competition resumes next month.