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Camacho quits as Real Madrid coach

Camacho shows his frustration at the weekend during his last match in charge of Real Madrid
Real Madrid
Jose Antonio

MADRID, Spain -- Real Madrid's under-fire coach Jose Antonio Camacho has resigned just four months after taking up the post after the club's poor start to the campaign.

He offered his resignation to club president Florentino Perez Monday following the 1-0 defeat at Espanyol, saying he felt incapable of carrying on because he did not enjoy the support of the players.

"I believe that the team has not lived up to expectations and that as long as I remain as coach it will not improve and that's why I've decided to step down," Camacho told a news conference at the Bernabeu.

"I've got my own way of behaving and of coaching. I did not see it reflected on the pitch and I could not see the situation improving.

"The president asked me if I thought I could turn things around in the short term and I told him that I did not, so we reached an agreement that in order to prevent the club entering into an even bigger crisis I would give up the post."

Club president Florentino Perez said that Camacho's former assistant Mariano Garcia Remon would take charge of the first team.

"Garcia Remon will be here the whole season and we hope for many more," Perez told Radio Marca. "It is not a temporary measure, because he fits perfectly into the culture of this club.

"With his appointment we have found a rapid solution to a situation that should not affect the aims of Real Madrid, because the institution is always the most important thing."

Garcia Remon, an ex-Real Madrid goalkeeper who won six league titles during his 14 seasons at the club between 1971 and 1985, is a former boss of Sporting Gijon and Numancia. He will be Real's fourth coach since June 2003.

Garcia Remon stressed that he had accepted the job only after Camacho had urged him to do so.

Sad day

"It may seem odd, but for me today is a very sad day," he said. "It is a day that sees that the end of the work of someone who has done a very good job that just wasn't reflected on the pitch.

"It wasn't the way I dreamed of being here to train Real Madrid."

Garcia Remon is very much in the mould of Vicente del Bosque, the man who led Real to two European Cups and two league titles in four seasons before being discarded at the end of the 2002-2003 season.

Camacho was appointed as coach in place of Carlos Queiroz after the failure of Real - with players like Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham - to win a trophy last season.

It is the second time he has made a premature exit from the club he served so loyally as a player.

He managed only 23 days in the post in 1998, quitting before the season had even started after a row with then president Lorenzo Sanz about a contract for fitness trainer Carlos Lorenzana.

Real ended last season with a worst-ever five-match losing streak. This season they successfully got through the qualifying round of the Champions League, then scraped two disappointing 1-0 wins in their first two Primera Liga games.

They suffered a stinging 3-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday and then turned in an appalling performance to lose 1-0 at Espanyol on Saturday.

"I can't take anymore," was Spanish sports daily Marca's reported version of the conversation that took place between Camacho and Perez.

"I can see that there is no rapport with the squad. I had great hopes about this job but they haven't been realised."

The 49-year-old Camacho won 81 caps for Spain and played in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

He later went on to coach the Spanish national side for four years, after which he returned to the Bernabeu via a short stint with Portugal's Benfica.

But, after persuading Perez to invest in the team's defense following four years of constantly landing attacking players, such as Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham, Camacho had been frustrated by his side's poor showings.

They registered two single-goal wins over run-of-the-mill sides at the start of the campaign but were embarrassed in Leverkusen, who overran them in their Champions League opener.

In addition, there were reports of dressing room unease.

Saturday's loss to Espanyol, in which two players were sent off, led to widespread talk of a club in crisis, despite the summer arrival of two top-drawer center halves in the shape of Argentine Walter Samuel and England's Jonathan Woodgate, as well as England striker Michael Owen.

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