Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has been talking to Fox Sports Italy and he has explained what really happened in his six months unsuccessful spell at Real Madrid which started last June, just before he was about tio sign on at West Ham.
There have been reports about how he didn’t get on with the players – especially Cristiano Ronaldo – but it seems that most of that was all made up.
Rafa says he got on well with the players and it was more the external problems that was the cause of his failure and he was dismissal after a short six months at his home town club.
Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid
But when he left the club inm early January, Real Madrid were not in too bad a shape and his replacement, Zinedine Zidane, was able to win the Champions League and finish in second-place in the Spanish League – just one point behind Barcelona.
This is what Benitez told Fox Sports Italy.
“It was a little strange. At first I was expecting to take a job in the Premier League, but then Madrid came calling,”
“It was the fourth time that they had approached me – the team of my city, of my life, and it was time to say yes.”
“I arrived at a great club and there everything has to be perfect, but I think we did a good job. It’s not always possible to control everything that’s going on around the team.”
“The President wanted to do well in La Liga, clearly that was his priority, and to do that you need to have a side beyond just big names, where quality players really make a difference.”
“That’s my way of working. That was my idea, but then things weren’t going so well, and for me they weren’t going well at more of an external level than internal level, because the team was working well.”
“We were two points off Barcelona and we’d qualified from our Champions League group. I’ll repeat it, it was more of an external thing than internal.”
“The relationship with the players was good. In a team there are those who play a lot and others who don’t, but clearly my relationship with the majority was perfect as they are very professional people.”
“When you bring in a new coach, things change, but I think the positive thing was that I had to go there and I did.”
“I wanted to create a group capable of winning the league, but in the end I wasn’t able to do that.”
“You have to look forward, and now I have an exciting project at Newcastle in front of me.”
His project at Newcastle is exciting alright – and it’s almost certain to define Rafa Benitez as the world-class manager that he is.
It’s all very exciting for the long-suffering Newcastle fans and everybody associated with the Tyneside club – to have such a top personality as Rafa Benitez in charge of all football matters.
Newcastle United really did well to get the 56 year-old in and to keep him at the club even though we were tragically relegated in May.
But it’s all upwards and inwards from now on.