The decisive moment arrived when the Spanish giants called an emergency meeting after Madrid failed to beat Valencia on Sunday evening.
Club president Florentino Perez decided to swing the axe with the club sitting third in the table, two points behind rivals Barcelona, and four behind league leaders Atletico Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane will step up from the B-team to take control of first team affairs until at least the end of the season.
Perez remains a huge fan of Jose Mourinho and the former Chelsea manager remains an option for the Spanish giants at the end of the season if the Zidane experiment fails.
Benitez was unable to win any of Madrid’s big away games so far this season with Villarreal, Sevilla and Barcelona all beating them and Atletico Madrid, Valencia and PSG all taking a point.
Real Madrid have an open training session on Tuesday with thousands expected to flock to the club’s Valdebebas training ground to see the players put through their paces.
But it will be Zidane and not the former Liverpool coach in charge as Real Madrid begin another new era.
After Sunday’s draw with Valencia Benitez arrived in the press room at Mestalla wearing a gaunt look as he batted away question after question over his future.
“I can only make sure that we work hard in every game,” he said. “I thought we did that tonight and I’m pleased with the players.”
Asked if the draw would cost him his job, Benitez replied: ‘That’s only if we look at the result. This performance deserves more praise than criticism.
“I can’t avoid people speculating [about my job]. But I can make sure that the side works the way it did today.”
…and then the hammer fell yesterday evening and it was another chapter closed for Benitez.