As Rafa prepares to meet his old club Liverpool this afternoon, he has reflected on just how difficult it is to win the Premier League.
And he believes the club with the most money has the best chance of winning it and we suppose that would be Manchester City and Manchester United these days.
It just so happens they are first and second in the league table at the moment.
Rafa made a great start at Liverpool and won the Champions League in his first season in that famous win in 2005 on penalties (3-2) against AC Milan in the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
What an incredible comeback that was in the second half led by mercurial captain Steven Gerrard.
And at one time Rafa would have liked to have spent the rest of his career at Liverpool.
Rafa Benitez – the richest clubs tend to win the Premier League
But then the Reds got new American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks in February 2007, and they ran the club purely as a business.
That’s much like Mike Ashley has done at Newcastle United.
Rafa has talked today about his time at Liverpool and how he was expected to win the Premier League as reported in the Guardian:
“When I arrived at Liverpool, the budget was £20M gross.”
“When I left it was £17M, but still people said I must win the title. Manchester United had around £5M more every year, but they said I must compete against them.”
“After United you had to compete with Chelsea and Arsenal. Now you have Manchester City and Tottenham, too.”
“But it’s always been similar. There are massive clubs with massive amounts of money and Liverpool were always a little bit behind.”
“But if you create a good team, a good atmosphere and work hard you can get there. You can win trophies.”
“We had 86 points one year and finished second behind United,”
“You can be Leicester and win the title because the three or four top teams were not performing but probably 90% of the time the title winners have the most money.”
“It’s quite difficult for Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.” “They have to build teams good enough to compensate for the difference.”
“They can win the title but it’s hard.”
“The only way is to be really good one year and hope two or three of the others have bad years at the same time.”
One in three fans believe we can pull off a shock win this afternoon.
That would be fabulous!