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Real Madrid players are behind Rafa Benitez, says Sergio Ramos

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says that club president Florentino Perez "must have his reasons" for backing Los Blancos coach Rafa Benitez, and says the squad are on the embattled boss' side as well.

Benitez took charge last summer after Perez sacked the popular Carlo Ancelotti, and the new coach has had a difficult first six months in charge. He has been whistled regularly during recent weeks, including before Sunday's surreal 10-2 La Liga victory over Rayo Vallecano.

All-powerful club chief Perez has himself been subject to "resign" chants from unhappy fans since November's 0-4 Clasico defeat to Barcelona. He gave Benitez his backing last week, saying the former Liverpool and Napoli manager was "the solution, not the problem" at the club.

Spanish international defender Ramos, who has had his own differences of opinion with Benitez in recent months, was asked in the Bernabeu mixed-zone after the Rayo victory if he agreed with the president's analysis of the situation.

"If 'el presi' says that for sure it must be for a reason," Ramos said. "We are all just pawns here, and he [Florentino] is the king."

Ramos added that the squad was behind Benitez, and trying to put into place the tactical ideas they were being given.

"We are with the coach," he said. "We try and take on his ideas, and we try and execute them. It does not always come off as you want, but at least there is fight in the team, and everything is left on the pitch."

It was announced earlier in the day that Ancelotti, who had been linked with a return to Madrid next summer in regular speculation, has committed to replace Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich next summer.

"I am delighted as [Ancelotti] is a good friend," Ramos said. "I consider him a great coach and he should be at a big club. If that cannot be here, then I believe Bayern are also a great team."

Rayo coach Paco Jemez was very angry at the decisions which saw Rayo, who had been 2-1 up at 11 vs. 11, play more than an hour with two fewer players. But Ramos, who was involved in the second red card for visiting midfielder Raul Baena, had a certain amount of sympathy.

"The first red card was very clear, it came at a bad time [for Rayo]. If the referee blows when the play is practically a goal... The way I am I would have liked for nobody to be sent off."