Praise For Rafa Benitez From An Unlikely Source


Rafa Benitez was sacked by Real Madrid in early January and he came in for some criticism from some players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, but it looks like the leaders at the Madrid club appreciated the work Rafa did for the club in the six months he was there.

florentino perez

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez

This is what the Real Madrid President said today on Football Espansa:

“Until January, we’d had a good run in the Champions League.”

“Our slump was in part due to so many injuries, but I still thought we could do something like winning the Champions League, because we have a great team and never lost hope of winning something important.”

“Benitez did a good job. Don’t forget that.”

“Zidane symbolizes values such as respect, humility, talent.” “He’s very serious in his work.”

“When I spoke to him in January, he said he was prepared to work, that he knew Real Madrid very well and the dressing room.”

“He said: ‘Don’t worry President, we’ll win something. It’s guaranteed.’ “The other day, when we had our embrace, he said: ‘We’ve done it.’”

Perez has criticized Rafa because Rafa dropped the 33 year-old and was rebuilding the Madrid central defense around 23 year-old French International Raphael Varane.

And Ronaldo didn’t like the fact that Benitez was trying to improve his free kick,s because Cristiano presumably thought they couldn’t be improved.

There’s a little bit of class from the Real Madrid President right there.

Comments welcome.



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122 comments so far

  • Jib

    May 31, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #1

    Ed if you knew a bit more about Spanish football political intrigue (which makes the Renaissance Borgias look positively benign)
    you would know that Rafa was sacked to save Perez’ ass.

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  • Jib

    May 31, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #2

    Repeat to avoid the Taboola advert

    Ed if you knew a bit more about Spanish football political intrigue (which makes the Renaissance Borgias look positively benign)
    you would know that Rafa was sacked to save Perez’ ass.

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  • giimps

    May 31, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #3

    Trouble in paradise like Jib?

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  • Bobbybee

    May 31, 2016 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #4

    So, Real’s loss is our gain. Happy days. God forbid that anybody should suggest they could improve Ronaldo’s free kicks, when the whole world knows Ronaldo is already perfect in every way, shape and form. Better to be where you are loved, than be where you’d love to be sometimes.

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  • bettyswallocks

    May 31, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #5

    Jib….. Do you live permanently in Spain?

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  • Belfast

    May 31, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #6

    Aye he’s the pool cleaner at the Solana hotel Benidorm Betty.

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  • Back Door Man

    May 31, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #7

    He’ on the run from the Peelers.

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  • Back Door Man

    May 31, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    Comment #8

    He’s

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  • giimps

    May 31, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #9

    Bobby,
    Give it a few years and we may be tussling with Real, in the CL if Rafa has his way…… A little bit of hope mixed in with hard work and fairy dust should do it….. I just hope we have some fairy dust left over from when SBR and Keegan were here.
    In the real world though we may struggle to get some of our targets but for different reasons than previously used but we have a good enough squad to excel (depending on who is still here) even the likes of Rivière will score in the fizzy pop, he has proved he can score in poorer leagues and has the tools to be a no2 striker or in a 3

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  • bettyswallocks

    May 31, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #10

    Belfast…… I think you’ve ruffled his feathers now. He seems to have a lot of info on Spanish stuff I was just curious like.

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  • Jib

    May 31, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #12
  • bettyswallocks

    May 31, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #13

    Jib…. I was being serious, I think I remember you saying you had a Spanish wife, so just wondered if you’d relocated.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 31, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #14

    What Perez, and also Ronaldo recently had or have to say about Benitez is irrelevant. Some clubs just aren’t a good fit for managers, or are the right one at the wrong time. There aren’t many successful manager who haven’t failed (or won’t fail) somewhere at least once in their career.

    Not been on much or kept up to date with stuff this past week, been too busy. I think I remember pre season being in 5 weeks? I’d hope that many of our dealings are done by then so we can make the most of it. Pleased there is no glamour/money making promotional pre season tour this year. Whatever the reasoning, and I doubt it is purely Rafa, it is a good thing.

    As for Colo, thank you for the years, he has been very good for us at times, an absentee, and a victim of poor management and players around him at times. Still, a declining force, and his latest utterings make it even more incredible that a deal was signed last summer. I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to be with their family though, whether that person was at fault for the departure or not. Personally, I’d rather remember his great games and good season’s than his more recent performances.

    As for being quiet in the media, the club keep media interviews pretty tight, maybe Colo was quiet as he disagreed with certain things and wouldn’t agree to putting his name to stuff, unless it was a last ditch attempt to save a club he had grown fond of. No evidence on that, but another angle on something he is oft slated for.

    Anyway, time for him and others to move on. Sooner the better, so we know what we have for next year.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 31, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #15

    giimps,
    Sorry mate but Riverie is not a footballer, his goal scoring ratio to games is pants and just better than Sholas in a much poorer league, he might be a strong lad but he can’t hit a barn door and we don’t need someone like him in the team.

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  • bettyswallocks

    May 31, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #16

    BDM…… The stultifying impact of your vacuous vituperation is more piteous than execrable .

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  • Bobbybee

    May 31, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #17

    Giimps, to be honest, I think we have a good enough squad to bounce back already, with the players we’ll bring in to replace those who leave. Rafa won’t bring in any no hopers, so whoever comes in will only strengthen us. A lot depends on who stays, but regardless, we’ve seen what Rafa can do in ten games, with the same players who couldn’t play together under macca. Under Rafa, anything is possible, even CL football in a couple of years. 😉

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  • welshgeordie9

    May 31, 2016 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #18

    Can’t believe Townsend is not in the England, happens all the time, no wonder England don’t win it, what a load of geriatric bull crap.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 31, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #19

    Seems a lot of people are happy to keep our poor players because we went down, not for me that they still need to be gone and replaced

    Rivi, Gouffran, Colo, Saylor etc regardless of league aren’t good enough for NUFC so long good luck all that but really don’t let the door hit ya

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 31, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #20

    Bobby,
    How can you be certain Rafa won’t bring in no hopers? His record at Liverpool in the transfer market was pretty average, more flops than successes, and invariably anyone who cost less than £5million didn’t do to well there. This was from a Liverpool Echo journalist not long ago. Whilst some signings were tremendous, he made a lot of signings and some were thoroughly underwhelming.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 31, 2016 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #21

    WW…,
    Wouldn’t be sorry to see any of them lot leave.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 31, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #22

    Lilongwe,
    He’s probably analysed it a million times, talked with over three thousand scouts of twenty seven different nationalities to see where he went wrong and has now sussed it 😀

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 31, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #23

    Welsh,
    I can’t believe Joe Ledley is in the Wales squad. 3 weeks after breaking his leg, and he is back in training. Incredible. Puts some of our players to shame over the years.

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  • bettyswallocks

    May 31, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    Comment #24

    Welsh. Worry about your own team boyo.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 31, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #25

    Jail,
    Let’s hope so. Still, nobody gets all their transfers right. So far we have been linked with (other than Agger and Arbeloa) players that we have been watching and linked with previously, with articles now saying Benitez wants them. I think Benitez will put a lot of faith in Newcastle’s past scouting dossiers as well as using his own knowledge.

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  • bettyswallocks

    May 31, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #26

    Welsh…….. Chi defaid ffwl cariadus. x

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  • WWSBRD

    May 31, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #27

    Jail
    Nor me mate I could name a few more too

    We won’t struggle to attract players imo so why keep the anchors around our necks? I’d rather older proven or younger potential (in the right positions) than keeping our current crap

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  • Belfast

    May 31, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    Comment #28

    95% of them wouldn’t be missed. Get rid of whoever we can and replace them with the top Championship players. McCormack would be a good addition for a start.

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  • WWSBRD

    May 31, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    Comment #29

    Rafa may well agree with our scouting reports difference is he will decide which one to go for rather than going for the cheapest option on the list

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  • Bobbybee

    May 31, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    Comment #30

    Lil, by no hopers, i fully expect Rafa to replace those leaving with superior players. Is it really possible for Rafa to replace Gouffran, Rivierre Staylor etc with lesser players? He ‘s not looking for mega stars after all, just players better than them. Even you and i could do that surely? 😉

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  • WWSBRD

    May 31, 2016 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #31

    I’d look at Gayle from Palace

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 31, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Comment #32

    Depends on what the nature of the break is. Night be a hairline fracture or even a chipped bone rather than a complete break.

    I assume that Bale is fit after the Champions cup final was looking a bit dodgy for a while.

    Do we have any players in the Euro’s.

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  • Graeme

    May 31, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #33

    Bobby – probably 90% of fans could do that mate lol

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  • jimmysmith

    May 31, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    Comment #34

    Collo wanting away suggests he’d be happy to be released. And also with Taylor’s contract up, we would potentially have two places opening up to allow us more easily to upgrade in a position we’ve been understrength, which ordinarily would be good, but to be frank, the timing creates a problem because we now need to sign two premiership standard CB’s as a Championship side, and that won’t be easy.

    Collocini has been one of the best Cb’s I’ve seen at the club, along with Woodgate and Albert, albeit in a position we’ve often struggled in. Since the early Keegan days we’ve only had those three and Howey, Peacock, and Dabizas that really were good enough. Maybe now with Benitez we can sort the position out. Mbemba, Lascelles and Dummett are a decent start.

    He did have the occasional poor game, and probably wasn’t the right choice as Captain, but really Newcastle have had some bang ordinary players in his time here, and bang ordinary sides, and despite this still managed a number of memorable Rolls Royce displays along the way, and a couple of almost flawless seasons In there too.

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  • Blackley and Brownlie

    May 31, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    Comment #35

    I’d love to see our squad invigorated with at least half a dozen young, ambitious British players. I think we’ve got enough, slightly older, experienced heads to choose to keep.

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  • Blackley and Brownlie

    May 31, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    Comment #36

    I’d be looking for three biggest, most powerful, meanest defenders we can get. And two proven goalscorers.

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  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 31, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #37

    Bobby,
    I think Rivi and Gouffran would probably do okay in this division. Not that I want either to stay, I wasn’t happy with either signing in the first place! I’m sure Hull wanted Goofy last summer, but he said he’d rather fight for his place in the Prem…. Wonder how he feels on that decision now.

    Shame Hull went up as Robertson would have been high on my list of signings, as he was last summer and back in Jan (and before he joined Hull). He is ideal for us, no nonsense, but also very capable of getting forward.

    I’m looking forward to the first few bits of business, as that will give a good insight into how the club are operating moving forwards.

    WWSBRD,
    You are right of course, if Rafa is able to sign the players he wants from Carr’s lists though, does that make Carr a good scout again? I’d take McCormack, but sell on if we went up and I’d definitely take Hughes if Rafa is keen on him.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    May 31, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #38

    @Blackley

    Yeah agree on that would love us to sign a couple of rapid all action British midfielders !

    Will Hughes from Derby would certainly fall into that category !

    Riviere , Gouffran , Obertan, Thauvin, Cabella , Marveux , Williamson , Taylor all need replaced as they have either already left or are not good enough

    Thats 8 players if they got replaced with a combination of young hungry British players , 2 senior players and maybe a Spanish wonderkid or 2 we would actually have a squad that Rafa could rotate properly for a change !!

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  • giimps

    May 31, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #39

    Luuk dejong was crap for us and he’s now banging them in, I think most players need a formation and group of players around them who want to be a team rather than a group of individuals in order to be at their best, history is littered with teams winning things with little or lesser known players but playing a formation and structure that suits them, Greece is an example, Leicester another. I think whoever stays to be part of this rafalutoon will be grateful and happy they did in a couple of seasons when we’re a team striving for success again rather than striving for mediocrity….. How does the saying go again…. If you reach for the stars you may hit the moon but if you just reach for the ceiling that’s as far as you will get….. Over to you Rafa

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  • Bobbybee

    May 31, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Comment #40

    Graeme, my point exactly marra. There’s no way on this planet that he will replace those players with anybody worse. He has far too much nous to do that. The difficulty may arise with replacing Sissoko and Gini, because despite some of their performances last season, they’re both good players somewhere inside. Clearly they weren’t happy under macca, but Rafa is different class. He proved they can play when they want to. This is where he’ll come into his own, because he can persuade good players to join him on his project, the way kk did back in the day.

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