Ramos replaces Schuster at Real
Juande Ramos takes over from Bernd Schuster ahead of clash with Barcelona.
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2008 14:48 GMT

Schuster has not been enjoying his football of late [GALLO/GETTY]

Real Madrid have fired coach Bernd Schuster two days after the German coach said it would be "impossible" for the Spanish champions to win against Barcelona.

Former Tottenham and Sevilla boss Juande Ramos will immediately replace the 49-year-old Schuster, who was let go only six months after guiding the club to their record 31st league title.

Fifth-placed Madrid trail Barcelona by nine points going into Saturday's "classico" derby.

At his unveiling on Tuesday Ramos, who takes over for the rest of the season, said: "Madrid is a team that whichever game it has to play it will go in with maximum motivation to play it.

"Barcelona is playing really well but Madrid is playing well enough to not renounce a victory in any stadium in the world."

Ramos is the eighth coach to lead the Spanish club since it fired Vicente del Bosque in 2003.

The 54-year-old Ramos' first match in charge will be against Zenit St Petersburg in the European Champions League on Wednesday.

'Amicable' parting

Sports director Predrag Mijatovic said that after a Tuesday morning meeting with the board of directors, Schuster and Madrid parted ways "amicably."

"We talked about all of the difficulties that we had over the past months and we decided to take this decision," Mijatovic said.

"He accepted it with great humility."

Schuster joined Madrid from Getafe in July 2007, replacing current England coach Fabio Capello, who was fired after leading Madrid to their first league title in four years to snap the longest trophy drought for 53 years.

Ex-Real and Barca midfielder Schuster, who had a contract through to 2010, defended the league title easily as Madrid finished 18 points ahead of bitter rivals Barcelona.

Ramos holds the Copa del Rey in his trophy-packed Sevilla days [GALLO/GETTY]
"He did a great job last year and we hoped things would work out, but as you know in the world of football their are streaks you can't shake," Mijatovic said.

"We enjoyed our time with him."

Injury crisis

Madrid, who have already qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League, have lost three of their last four league games and are in the middle of an injury crisis.

Only three weeks ago, Mijatovic backed Schuster to continue "barring a catastrophe."

But Schuster's comments after Sunday's 4-3 home defeat to Sevilla about the match against Barcelona, where he all but threw in the towel, were never likely to be well received.

He said that Madrid "would try to play a good game" but that this was Barcelona's season.

"At the Camp Nou now, it's not possible to win," Schuster said.

"They (Barcelona) are playing really well there and it's their year. We can just try and hopefully play a good game."

Barcelona are unbeaten in 20 matches in all competitions.

Real turbulence

The news of Schuster's firing comes during a turbulent time at Real, with president Ramon Calderon just surviving a vote of confidence at the club's general assembly on Sunday.

Three days prior, the youth director quit the club citing Calderon's "neglect" as the reason for his leaving.

Ramos led Sevilla to back-to-back Uefa Cup titles and a Copa del Rey trophy before taking over at Tottenham in October 2007.

But he was fired by Spurs after their worst league start for 100 years, only six months after guiding Tottenham to a first trophy since 1999 with a League Cup triumph against Chelsea

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