Luis García: Benítez "probably wasn't the problem" at Real

"When he arrived I thought he was the right man," said the ex-Liverpool star, who added that he expects more patience to be shown to Zinedine Zinedine.

Luis García: Benítez "probably wasn't the problem" at Real

Ex-Liverpool ace Luis García has declared in an interview that Rafa Benítez "probably wasn't the problem" at Real Madrid in his brief tenure as Los Blancos' head coach.

Benítez was replaced as Real boss by Zinedine Zidane in January, just seven months after taking the helm at the Santiago Bernabéu.

And García, who played under Benítez during his three-year spell at Anfield, told current side Central Coast Mariners: "When he first arrived I thought he was the right man. He knew the club, he was there for many years before and he knew how Real Madrid work."

"He'd been waiting for that chance for many years," he continued. "We all knew that he would finish up one day managing Real Madrid."

But García added: "At the end, football is all about results. It's not about the coach, the players or the club, it's about the results.

"[At Real Madrid] it's been a long time without winning a trophy. They won the Champions League two years ago, but LaLiga has been very difficult. Madrid are about trophies. They're not looking to finish second."

García's controversial goal against Chelsea booked Liverpool's place in the 2005 Champions League final, where they saw off AC Milan on penalties after producing a stunning comeback from 3-0 down.

However, the 37-year-old suggests Benítez wasn't given enough time to get things right at Real, and that the issues at the club go further than the identity of the man occupying the dugout.

"When Benitez arrived, he tried to adapt the team to the way he works, but it didn't work out," he said.

"With Zidane things started very well, as normally happens when a team changes their manager. But Real Madrid still have a lot of work to do, which means Rafa Benítez probably wasn't the problem."

And the former Atlético Madrid and Barcelona player is confident that Zidane will be shown greater patience than his predecessor.

"Even if the league and the Champions League don't go well this season, they'll give him another chance next year," he explained.

"They'll re-organise the team, try and bring in a couple of players who can adapt to his way of playing. Real Madrid are not an easy team. They're a special club, so we'll have to see what happens."