Juande Ramos today admitted he had realised a "dream" after being named the new coach of Real Madrid following the departure of Bernd Schuster.
The former Sevilla and Tottenham boss has been appointed on a six-month contract at the Bernabeu after German coach Schuster departed by mutual consent following a meeting with the club's board of directors earlier today.
Ramos' appointment to one of the most prestigious posts in world football comes just 45 days after his stock appeared to have hit rock bottom following his dismissal from Spurs, which came after he guided the London club to their worst start to a season.
The 54-year-old, who will lead Madrid for the first time in tomorrow's Champions League Group H match against Zenit St Petersburg, was introduced to the Spanish media at the same press conference which confirmed Schuster's departure.
"I would like to thank the board for their confidence - I face this job with excitement," said Ramos. "It's everybody's dream.
"I hope I don't let anyone down and that I achieve the successes that this club has set for this season."
Ramos, who still enjoys a big reputation in his homeland after guiding Sevilla to back-to-back UEFA Cup wins in 2006 and 2007, revealed that both he and the club have the option to extend their association beyond the end of the season.
"In most of my previous jobs I have had short contracts," he continued. "We came to a quick agreement and I'm delighted. If I'm happy at the end of the season then I might extend the contract.
"Both sides are free to see what happens."
Schuster, who guided Madrid to the league title last season, left the club having overseen a run of indifferent form for the Spanish champions with Madrid currently in fifth place in the Primera Liga, nine points behind arch-rivals Barcelona.
They were also knocked out of the Copa del Rey by minnows Real Union.
A dejected Schuster seemed to have thrown in the towel following Sunday's 4-3 defeat at home to Sevilla when he admitted his side were incapable of winning El Clasico at Barcelona on Saturday.
"Right now it's not possible to win at the Nou Camp," he said.
Speculation had been rife that Schuster's comments had hastened his demise, but Madrid's director of sport, Pedja Mijatovic, insisted that was not the case.
"We can't pinpoint one specific moment that made us reach this decision," he said. "Making a decision like this isn't easy and we had to make a very deep analysis of the situation of the team.
"Schuster's declaration the other day hasn't had any influence on our decision.
"Two weeks ago I said that we don't make difficult decisions like this easily."
Mijatovic added: "We spoke to Schuster this morning about all the difficulties over the past few months.
"We came to the mutual agreement to take this decision. He took the the decision well.
"I have to take the opportunity to thank Bernd Schuster for the work he did at Real Madrid. He did an excellent job last season to win the title and the Spanish Supercopa."
Ramos' biggest task in the early days of his tenure will be to prepare his new charges for the all-important clash with Barca at the weekend.
"You have to confront every game with the will to win," he said. "They are one of the biggest clubs in the world.
"Barca are playing excellent football and doing well, but Real Madrid have the character and prestige to face any club in any stadium in the world."
Although Madrid have struggled this season, Schuster enjoyed a wonderful first year at the Bernabeu, retaining the Primera Liga crown his predecessor Fabio Capello claimed in 2007.
But attempts to win it for a third time have floundered due to Barca's resurgence under new boss Pep Guardiola and a spate of injuries.
Mahamadou Diarra yesterday became the latest Madrid player to be struck down after it emerged he will miss between six and nine months with a knee injury.
He joins Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gabriel Heinze, Pepe, Wesley Sneijder, Miguel Torres and Ruben de la Red in the treatment room.
Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas also gave an insight into the negativity surrounding the club today when he admitted they were not capable of challenging for the league title on current form.
He told radio programme El Mirador de Punto Radio: "At the moment the team isn't capable of winning trophies because Barcelona lead us by nine points and it's true that they're playing well."Reuse content