Luis Garcia knows all about Rafa Benitez the Newcastle manager, and he played for Rafa for three years at Liverpool from 2004, when Rafa first arrived at the Reds.
He also played for Rafa for one season at Tenerife – when he was on loan from Barcelona – when Rafa got them promoted in that one season.
After that Benitez was signed by Villareal – and the rest is now history – with Rafa establishing himself as one of the best managers in the world.
Luis has been talking to Sky Sports about his former boss and said what Newcastle fans now know – Rafa is mad about everything to do with football.
So yes, of course, he’s adored at Newcastle!!
A young Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez looks on at Luis Garcia in training
And Rafa can talk about football until the cows come home.
Just ask former Newcastle captain Bob Moncur who has had dinner with Rafa many times.
Here’s what Luis Garcia has said to Sky Sports about the current Newcastle manager:
“Wherever Rafa has gone, he has always given everything. He has always supported his clubs, the charities, everything.”
“He is always totally committed and that’s what people love about him. He is protective of his players and his club.”
“He always gives his best and Newcastle are seeing that now.”
“I sent him a message to congratulate him on promotion – he has done a great job.”
“It’s difficult to be relegated and come back after only one year, especially when important players leave.”
“Now he’s trying to build a strong team because he knows it’s going to be another tough year.
“He’s the same manager he ever was, you cannot talk to Rafa about anything except football. Football is everything.”
“Talking, learning and improving. He attends to every detail. Everything has to be under control. He loves that.”
“He wants you to have the right preparations, the right rest, the right food, the right everything. New players have to adapt fast to the needs of the team.”
“I know Rafa and I know he will not be planning just to fight to stay in the Premier League.”
“I think he will be wanting to aim high, to try to get into those 10 positions at the top of the table and maybe fight for the Europa League places.”
We’re very lucky to have Rafa Benitez at the club as our manager and we are hoping and praying that owner Mike Ashley doesn’t screw this all up.