Vanderlei Luxemburgo was fired Sunday as coach of
Real Madrid, one of the world's most glamorous soccer teams but mired in fourth
place in the Spanish league this season.
The dismissal came less than two weeks after the team's board gave Luxemburgo a
vote of confidence. He had been in charge of the team for nearly a year, and the
poor play led to protests by fans at recent games.
"The situation of the team was such that it was decided we needed a change,"
vice president Emilio Butragueno said. "The performance wasn't up to
expectations. It was worrying for us and Madrid supporters."
Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, coach of reserve team Real Madrid Castilla in the Spanish
second division, will run the team for now. He will be the coach for the
Champions League game against Olympiakos in Athens on Tuesday.
Real Madrid boasts the likes of Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham. But
it has won just three of its last seven Spanish league games and is six points
behind first-place Barcelona. Real Madrid was coming off a lackluster 1-0 league
victory over Getafe on Saturday.
Luxemburgo, a Brazilian, is the fifth coach to depart the powerhouse in the past
2 1/2 years. During that time, it has failed to win a major trophy.