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Madrid to hold press conference amid Benitez exit talk

Real Madrid have called a press conference for Monday evening amid speculation that manager Rafa Benitez's position could be under threat.

Benitez suffered an embarrassing defeat against Barcelona. Credit: PA

It follows Saturday's humiliating El Clasico defeat at home against Barcelona, when Madrid were thrashed 4-0.

Disgruntled supporters waved white handkerchiefs following a performance which many believe sealed Benitez's fate at the club.

Subsequent reports over the weekend suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo issued Madrid with an ultimatum, threatening to leave the club unless they dismiss Benitez.

A statement released by the club this afternoon, following a board level meeting, read:

The Real Madrid C. F. president, Florentino Perez, will hold a media conference at 6:30pm GMT this evening in the Santiago Bernabeu following the board meeting.

– Real Madrid statement

Real Madrid thrashed at home by Barcelona

Barcelona embarrassed their great rivals. Credit: Reuters

Real Madrid suffered El Clasico humiliation after crumbling to a 4-0 thrashing at home against Barcelona.

Neymar and Andres Iniesta scored goals sandwiched in between a Luis Suarez double that moved the Catalans six points clear of their great rivals.

Following the result, Madrid manager Rafael Benitez's odds of being dismissed during the current campaign dropped to just 10/11, as the home fans waved white handkerchiefs at disgust with what they were witnessing.

Barcelona, for whom Lionel Messi returned from injury as a second half substitute, have now won their last five league matches on the spin and remain strong favourites to win La Liga this season.


Benitez admits he tried to sign Bale for Liverpool

Bale now works with Benitez at Real Madrid. Credit: PA

Rafael Benitez has admitted that he tried to sign Gareth Bale for Liverpool when he was in charge at Anfield.

Real Madrid manager Benitez now works with Bale day-in-day-out and says Southampton wouldn't sell their prize asset to Liverpool in 2006.

Benitez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: "Back in 2006 I went to see Bolton-Southampton. We transferred a player to Southampton but they wouldn't give us Bale.

"Then when we tried to buy him, we couldn't. I've known for a long time he was a great player.

"Carragher has made the mistake of saying I preferred Riise when it wasn't like that."


Ronaldo nets 33rd Real Madrid hat-trick

Cristiano Ronaldo hit a second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid opened their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 victory over 10-man Shakhtar Donetsk in Tuesday's Group A showdown at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Karim Benzema put the hosts ahead in the 30th minute, while Shakhtar had midfielder Taras Stepanenko sent off for a second yellow card five minutes after the re-start.

Cristiano Ronaldo knows where the goal is. Credit: PA

Real, helped by a dubious penalty, doubled their lead through Ronaldo five minutes later and the Portugal international scored his second when he converted another spot-kick in the 63rd minute after Marcio Azevedo's clear handball.

Ronaldo capped off a wonderful evening for the home side when he headed his third of the night 10 minutes from time.

Ronaldo breaks Real Madrid La Liga record

Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals and became Real Madrid's all-time top scorer in the Primera Division as he inspired Los Blancos to a thumping 6-0 win at Espanyol.

The Portugal forward's impressive haul saw him move ahead of Alfredo di Stefano and Raul in one afternoon to amass a total of 229 goals in 203 matches - one ahead of Raul, who needed 550 games to reach his tally.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored just the five goals/ Credit: Reuters

Ronaldo, who had failed to score in either of Madrid's opening league games, needed just seven minutes to open his account against Espanyol, having bagged a treble here last season. He promptly scored again from the penalty spot and then completed his hat-trick on 20 minutes with the help of a cross from Gareth Bale.

Karim Benzema added a fourth before the break, and then in the second half Bale again laid on the pass for Ronaldo to strike for the fourth time and make Real Madrid history. But he was still not done, converting again from inside the area on 80 minutes.

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