Celta's head coach Rafa Benitez smiles ahead the Spanish La...

Celta's head coach Rafa Benitez smiles ahead the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, March 10, 2024. Credit: AP/Manu Fernandez

VIGO, Spain — Celta Vigo has fired coach Rafa Benítez after winning just five league games this season.

The Spanish club announced the decision on Tuesday, thanking the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager for “eight months of absolute dedication and total commitment” but saying he fell short of obtaining “the results expected.” His contract was to 2026.

Celta lost 4-0 to league leader Madrid on Sunday and is 17th in the Spanish league, one place above the relegation zone with 10 matches remaining.

The 63-year-old Spaniard was also fired by Premier League side Everton after 200 days in early 2022.

Benitez's best spell was when he coached Liverpool and won the Champions League in 2005 and reached the final in 2007. He also won the FA Cup in 2006.

He won the Europa League as Chelsea coach in 2013 and the Italian Cup with Napoli the following year. But Madrid fired him in January 2016.

Celta lost six of its last nine matches across all competitions, with victories at mid-table Osasuna and against last-place Almeria in the Spanish league. It was eliminated by Real Sociedad in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger celebrates after scoring his side's second...

Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger celebrates after scoring his side's second goal the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, March 10, 2024. Credit: AP/Manu Fernandez

Celta's next game is Sunday at 14th-place Sevilla, which sits four points ahead of the Vigo team.

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