Benitez: It has been an honour and privilege

Rafael Benitez has penned an open letter to Real Madrid's employees and supporters, saying it was an "an honour and privilege" to manage the Spanish club.

The 55-year-old was relieved of his duties on Monday, with former Madrid midfielder and B team coach Zinedine Zidane subsequently named as his successor at the Bernabeu.

During his brief stint at the helm, Benitez guided Los Blancos to 17 wins, five draws and two defeats.

The statement read: "Now, at the end of my time as first team coach of Real Madrid, I would like to use this article to say goodbye to everyone at every level of the club.

"I want everyone at the club from the Board of directors, executives, workers and all of the fans, know that it has been an honour and privilege to be in charge at this club where I grew up as a person, player and coach from the lowest categories through to the first team.

"As a Madridista from Madrid, steeped in the traditions and values of this institution, which I learned in the old sports city of Castellana, it has been an honour to work for these colours.

"I would especially like to thank everyone at the new sports city and the Santiago Bernabéu who since my first steps through the door have supported me and made my work easier. Thanks to all for helping.

"With all that I have said still in mind, I would like to wish good luck to Zinedine Zidane, my successor, and his staff. To all the players, coaches and staff in both Valdebebas and Bernabéu, I wish all the best and also good luck.

"With all my respect and thanks… HALA MADRID and NOTHING ELSE."