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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Real sack Queiroz
Carlos Queiroz
Queiroz's reign ended after five straight defeats
Real Madrid have replaced coach Carlos Queiroz with former Spain national team boss Jose Antonio Camacho.

Queiroz paid the price after Real ended the season without a trophy for the first time in five years.

Their 4-1 home defeat by Real Sociedad on Sunday saw them finish fourth in the Spanish Primera Liga, so they will have to qualify for the Champions League.

Queiroz joined Real on a two-year deal last summer, having been assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

His fate was sealed by a series of disastrous results since Christmas, culminating in an unprecedented five-game losing run at the end of the season.

"If you ask me whether we made a mistake contracting Queiroz, than I have to admit, we made a mistake," said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

"It's a sad day for us. It was a disappointing end to the season.

Camacho knows this club and he's got the attitude and authority to make things work
Real Madrid president
Florentino Perez
"We are a reference for football around the world and we cannot endure another season like this."

Camacho, who arrives from Benfica on a contract until June 2006, is a Real Madrid legend who played 414 matches for the Spanish giants between 1974 and 1989.

He also won 81 caps for Spain and coached the national team at Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.

It will be his second spell in charge at Real. He spent 23 days in charge in the summer of 1998 before falling out with former president Lorenzo Sanz.

"Camacho will be have a large amount of input into new signings," said Perez.

"He been a player here, he knows this club and he's got the attitude and authority to make things work."

Queiroz's downfall looked unlikely at the start of March, when his team were chasing a treble of the Primera Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League.

Surrender

The Copa del Rey final was the catalyst to the slide as Real lost 3-2 to Real Zaragoza in a game which emphasised their defensive fragility.

And they threw away an eight-point lead in the league, allowing Valencia to coast to the title.

Real went on to lose to Monaco in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, surrendering a 4-2 first-leg advantage.

Their out-of-favour striker Fernando Morientes, on loan at Monaco, scored against them in both legs.

After the 4-1 loss to Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu, board members convened on Monday morning to finalise the change of coaching staff.

The move mirrors that of last season, when Real sacked coach Vicente del Bosque less than 24 hours after the final game of the season.

Del Bosque had led the club to the Primera Liga title and the Champions League semi-finals.





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