The Newcastle web-site is reporting today that Rafa Benitez told people after the 2-0 win at Wigan on Wednesday night that was his 1,000th game in charge as a manager.
That’s simply a massive achievement for anybody, especially in today’s world where a string of defeats and any manager is in grave peril of his job.
It all started back in 1993 with the Real Madrid B team and since then he has managed several clubs (11 in total) including Valencia, Liverpool, Inter-Milan, Napoli and Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez – awesome record as a manager for 23 years
It’s an astonishing achievement and he must have nerves of steel to have survived so long and been so very successful in the process.
At Valencia he won the La Liga twice in 2001–02 and 2003–04 and the UEFA Cup (called the Europa League now) in 2003–04.
At Liverpool he restored that great club back to glory and famously won the Champions League in 2005 when the Reds were 3-0 down against AC Milan and came back to win 3-2 on penalties after extra time finished at 3-3.
Rafa also won the UEFA Super Cup the same year and the FA Cup in 2005–06 – he took Liverpool to the Champions League final in 2007 where this time they lost to Milan 2-1.
As the caretaker manager at Chelsea, where the unappreciative fans didn’t want him at the club and regularly abused him at home games, he still won the Europa League for them for the first time in their history in 2013.
And at Napoli he won the Coppa Italia in 2013–14 and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2014.
Rafa Benitez was voted the La Liga Best Coach in 2002 and he was voted the UEFA Manager of the Year two years in succession in 2003–04 and 2004–05 – his last season at Valencia and his first season at Liverpool.
What a record!
Our congratulations go out to Rafa – and to think his biggest achievements in his career are yet to come as manager of Newcastle United.
And he should update his Wikipedia record – which says he has only managed in 993 games.