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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Spanish International Praises The Great Rafa Benitez

12:49 pm, Friday, June 17th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 9 Comments

24 year-old Lucas Vazquez had a bit of a breakthrough season last term and he can thank Rafa Benitez for that.

When Rafa arrived at the club last summer he put Lucas into the first team squad after he had spent a season on loan at Espanyol in Barcelona.

Lucas played 33 games last season for Real Madrid in all competitions and scored 4 goals and has 10 assists.

lucas vazquez

Lucas Vasquez – given chance by Rafa Benitez

He was then a surprise call-up for Spain’s Euro 2016 23 man squad, as Isco and Saul were both left out – and Lucas didn’t expect to be in France right now.

With Real Madrid winning the Champions League on penalties against Atletico Madrid – the same outcome as two years ago – Lucas is now dreaming of also winning Euro 2016 with Spain.

This is what he had to say yesterday:

“Winning them both – Champions League and Euros – in the same season would be amazing, a feat very few have done.”

“A month ago I thought at this time I would be on holiday on the beach, but I feel very comfortable and I really want to play. I’m wearing the number nine, which is a number I love.

“Zidane and Benitez are two great coaches. They have different styles and neither is better than the other, each has his methods.”

“I am very happy with both because they trusted me and gave me the chance to play. I’m very grateful.”

“It is very difficult to get a place (for Real Madrid and Spain) as there are great players on both teams and a deep squad.”

Rafa was slammed at Real Madrid but mainly by one man – Cristiano Ronaldo – who thought it ridiculous that Rafa wanted to improve his free kicks.

Once you think you cannot improve – that’s a dangerous place to be – and there’s evidence the 31 year-old Portuguese striker may be getting a little too big for his boots.

He criticized Iceland for being so small-minded and going crazy with their surprise 1-1 with Portugal in Euro 2016:

“I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable.”

“When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and are not going to do anything in the competition.”

“We tried hard to win the game, Iceland didn’t try anything,”

It’s a pity Ronaldo showed his ignorance of Iceland, who have a population of only 323,000 compared to a population of over 10 million in Portugal.

So Iceland are small if not small-minded.

Maybe his criticism of Rafa Benitez at Real was also unfounded?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Euro 2016 · European Champions League · Management · Newcastle News · Other News

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The overrated Frenchman // Jun 17, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    I doubt very much whether Rafa lost any sleep from being criticised by Cristiano Ronaldo, who is not exactly known as a mental giant is he.

  • 2 JP...from The Rock // Jun 17, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Ronaldo is such a fking arrogant cnut! I hate his attitude so much. What a twat. He thins he’s God’s gift to the world and is better than anyone. He thins he has the right to disrespect anyone he chooses.

    Ronaldo I hate you!

  • 3 JP...from The Rock // Jun 17, 2016 at 1:20 PM


  • 4 Veltmann // Jun 17, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Frenchman – I doubt Cristiano sometimes know what he is talking about? He just slated Iceland for celebrating their goal against them like nuts.
    Who wasn’t feel delight after scoring in Euros?

    Junior Hoilett is free agent I think.He used to be a good player.Turns us down for qpr for higher wages as far as I know..but worth signing him.

  • 5 Jib // Jun 17, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Two points

    Cristiano Ronaldo was born and brought up on the island of Madeira
    Population 267,785 (2011) Estimate
    So you cannot say he doesn’t understand small island mentality!

    As a coach Zidane isn’t fit to lace Rafas shoes – his success this season was done on the back of Benitz’ hard work – which will be shown in seasons to come !

  • 6 AncientC // Jun 17, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Jib, does that mean Andre Villas-Boas was responsible for Chelsea winning the Champions League, and nothing to do with Roberto Di Matteo?

  • 7 welshgeordie9 // Jun 17, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    If Benitez can get cisse scoring again and get the best out of rivière, do we really need another forward, just a thought when we would have……..

    Armstrong (if he’s not sent out on loan)

    That would be the best strike force in the championship surly.

  • 8 welshgeordie9 // Jun 17, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    I would just get rid of just colo and gourffran.

  • 9 Jib // Jun 17, 2016 at 2:42 PM


    Had to get the car back (turbo probs)

    A great comparison

    RdM had managed twice as long as ZZ when he took the Chelsea job – at MKdons and WBA (ZZ with RM’s 2nd division side)
    Their stats elsewhere are below average – however when both were reunited with the team they had playing success with (and probably some veteran players from their playing days ) they had “new guy bounce” and achieved short term success.
    Since Chelsea di Matteo has been less than inspiring at Schalke04 and I think when Zidane has to start a full season as manager he will struggle.

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