Rafa has given his part two of the exclusive interview with the Chronicle today and he has talked about the reaction on Tyneside and around the world for that matter to him agreeing to stay at Newcastle – even though we were relegated.
The fans packed St. James’ Park on that final day of the season against Spurs – even though we were relegated – and took it as one last chance to persuade Rafa to stay on as manager at Newcastle United.
And it worked and amazingly Rafa is now the manager of the club for at least the next three years.
Two placards begging Rafa Benitez to stay
Rafa has said it was an emotional time for him seeing all the support and love for him from the Geordie fans.
The Chronicle also did their part in grand style with the petition that ended up getting close to 30,000 signatures – unbelievable.
What have you made of the reaction of fans since you committed to stay following relegation? Did the enormous support for The Chronicle’s petition surprise you?
Rafa Benitez answer:
“I knew about the Geordie fans before I came here, everyone in football knows about their passion and their support.”
“But it was incredible to experience it and to feel the love they have for the club and the welcome and support they gave me and the team.”
“They did not have an easy season but they are always supporting.” “It was very emotional for me.”
“The fans make a very big difference – to me, to the team on the pitch, to the whole city.” “They have been amazing, really amazing.”
“The fans are very special, they are what Newcastle United is about, they make the club what it is.”
“I want to give them joy and excitement and pride in their club, a reason to celebrate and to smile.”
We cannot do any better than that last line from Rafa – that’s exactly and precisely what Newcastle fans want.
Well said Rafa Benitez.