Spanish champions Real Madrid have fired coach Bernd Schuster and replaced him with Juande Ramos, club spokesman Miguel Angel Arroyo has confirmed.
Real's sports director Pedja Mijatovic said he had held an earlier meeting with Schuster, at which the German "accepted" the decision but "was sad to do so". Ramos has been given an initial six-month deal at the Spanish giants.
Los Merengues lost 4-3 at home to Sevilla at the weekend, a result that left them languishing in fifth place in La Liga, nine points behind leaders Barcelona.
The German coach had been under pressure as early as November, following Real's elimination from the King's Cup by lower-league side Real Union.
But it appears the final nail in the coffin was Schuster's remarks to the Spanish press last weekend, when he said his injury-riddled side had no chance in their forthcoming game at arch-rivals Barça.
Ramos was sacked as manager of Tottenham Hotspur in October, following a disastrous start to the Premier League season, but he enjoys a healthy reputation in Spain based on his successes with Sevilla, which included two UEFA Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2007.
"This is the dream of every coach, I hope I don't disappoint anybody," Ramos said. "I don't think there is any higher level than arriving at Real Madrid."