Benitez Puts The Record Straight About His Time At Real Madrid

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 real madrid

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.

Comments welcome.

22 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #1

    We could probably get Caulker and Hanley for about 5 million each both have experience of Premiership and Championship and have potential to be better under Rafas coaching !

    Then get that Johnny from Celta Vigo before any of the big teams are aware of it!!

    For me we still need a more wingers we have let 4 go this window and only brought in 1 !! We lack serious creativity from either side which we need more of to break teams down !

    Aarons and Richie are good but wont be able to play 46 games in a row so we need other specialist wingers to play and rotate

  • G

    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #2

    Its an exciting project for us too Rafa, couple of defenders through the door then we are in business.

  • expatmag

    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #3

    It looks like the next exits will be Coloccini to San Lorenzo for a nominal fee and De Jong to Turkey for around 6 millon quid.

    I still think at least one of our big names will go for significant money, either Sissoko to Liverpool or Wijnaldum to

  • martoon

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #4

    Jail – Work or miss first home match of the season – tricky decision that – depends on how badly you need the work I guess.

  • jimmysmith

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #5

    Losing Collo is one thing, and not necessarily a good thing either, but also losing DeJong, and then one of Sissoko or Widjnaldum would be downright careless. It won’t happen unless it serves our interests, we can at least be confident of that nowadays.

  • clinath@ed

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #6

    …cmon Expat, tell us where Wini is going! The suspense is killing me mate…. 😉

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #7

    It makes it so much more palatable knowing any decisions made have been made by a man who wants success rather than by a board of directors trying to keep the books looking good and in GC’s case lining his own pockets.

  • Jib

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #8

    Roma has been favourite for Wijnaldum for ages but Koeman at Everton is a big fan.
    Given the choice I think GW would opt to stay in the PL with his countryman.

  • Spoof

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #9

    I’ve never heard of this Jonny Castro, I have just this morning tried to find something out about him, he does appear to be highly rated but is he a left or right back, from what I can see he appears to play more on the right than the left which makes sense to me as we have a decent left back already but our right back is dreadful and hopefully this Castro fella is Janmaat’s replacement.

    But can anyone tell me about Castro, is he quick, slow, strong or weak and most importantly can he defend because if he is another one of these no defending defenders like Janmaat and Santon then I hope and prey that this rumour is pure fiction and we don’t get him because those type of players are a serious handicap, so can anyone tell me anything about him, cheers ?

  • geordie157

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Comment #10

    Would be great to see another two or three come in this week. Sounds like we just need to move a couple on first.

  • Nufc-83

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #11

    Spoof you are completly deluded if you think Dummett is better than Jaanmatt. Castro is a left back but can apparently play Rb aswell and he looks to be rapid.

    Dummet is solid defensively but utter rubbish when he gets on the ball and he panicks and ends up smashing a long ball forward into nobody. If he wants to progress he needs to be moved to Cb so he does not have to worry about going forward as he makes the whole left side totally unbalanced.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #12

    TransferMarket has him down as primarily a two footed LB who can play anywhere along the back four, Vigo thought enough of him to extend his contract by four and a half years last year. Spanish U21. Lilongwe said he’s seen him play and he’s quick.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #13

    Have you studied diplomacy at all?


    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #14

    Who is our decent LB? Haidara? Hes often injured

    As for RB surely our Dutch international linked with Juve is decent


    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #15

    As for Jonny hes pretty good on football manager

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #16


    i would think dummet is a better defender than janmatt and janmatt can often be very wasteful going forward.

  • hibbitt

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #17


    if you think Jaanmatt is a better defender than Dummett i would say its you that deluded
    Jaanmatt cannot defend
    always thought he could he could play in a more advanced role to the right of mid field were his pace and crossing could be used to our advantage

  • Spoof

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #18


    I saw that on Transfermarkt but if you scroll down the player list and look at the last team selection he is at right back and rumours that he could be considered to be Danny Alves replacement suggest to me that he could be more of a right back who could cover the left back if needed rather than the other way round, time will tell, if we get him then I just hope that he can defend, I will have to keep an open mind, but judging his reputation then £5m if that is correct seems a real steel to me, if we got Arbeloa as well then that could be very astute business due to Castro being able to play both sides of the park.

  • Spoof

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Comment #19

    Rotonda/ Hibbert

    Naturally I agree with both of you, but as far as 83 is concerned can I suggest that you just blank him/her because slagging someone off because they have a different view to your own is unacceptable, Rotonda, we both know about that with our differences of opinion over the last god knows how long, but it was never personal attacks, like I say just blank “it”, they aren’t worthy of a reply.


    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #20

    Nar sorry but Janmatt is a better player than Dummett at FB, his defending is fine and his overall contribution to the team dwarfs Dummett who is terrified of getting out of our 3rd

    Our left side was so horrific our right side suffered as teams simply ignored it and concentrated on Janmatts attacks and Sissokos power

  • Spoof

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #21


    Dummett is not spectacular, not by a long way but how often does a right winger totally destroy him, never, it doesn’t happen, yes he will get beat once or twice but name me a full back who has had a career where he has never been skinned, whereas the Janmaat’s and Santon’s and you have to put Haidara in that mould as well are caught out of position far too often, getting done now and again is forgivable as it happens to all defenders, but with the three that I’ve mentioned it happens too often for them to be classed as good or even just decent fullbacks, whereas it rarely happens to Dummett which is why he is a far better fullback than those three, of course that’s just my opinion.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    Jul 5, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #22

    With this talk of signing full-backs, surely a lot depends on the status of the players we have? Janmaat is not going to be kept around to play second-fiddle in a Championship team. And as it stands we have Dummett and Haidara to compete at left-back. I can’t see any in comings before outgoings, if it’s going to happen at all.


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