Rafa Benitez has been interviewed in the LMA magazine, and he’s talked about managing at different clubs in different countries.
Rafa has managed Liverpool, Chelsea, and Newcastle in the Premier League winning a European Championship at each of the first two clubs.
Rafa also managed Valencia to great success in La Liga at the start of his management career and won the Europa League with them.
He also plied his trade in Italy with both Inter-Milan and Napoli.
Rafa also had a brief spell managing his hometown club Real Madrid in Spain.
Rafa Benitez with assistant Mauricio Pellegrino at Liverpool
Rafa has talked about how he has been successful in three different countries during his management career:
“It can be difficult when you first join a club, especially when you’ve previously managed a rival side.”
“I joined Chelsea, for example, having managed at Liverpool, with all the rivalry that exists between the two clubs.”
“You have to approach the new role as a professional, be yourself and not try to do different things that you wouldn’t normally do.”
“While it might take time, eventually people will realize that you are trying to do what’s best for the club.”
“It’s important to be approachable to the fans and it has been an advantage to me to have managed in England, Italy, and Spain.”
“I’ve learned about their cultures and people and have been able to adapt each time I’ve moved to a new club.”
“When I was the manager of Napoli, I walked around the city and spoke to the fans, which was fantastic.”
“I discovered how proud they are of their city. In Milan, with Inter, there was the intense competition with AC Milan.”
“Then in England, you have the rivalries between, say, Liverpool and Manchester United or Everton, Newcastle and Sunderland.”
“You have to understand what all of this means to the fans if you want a good relationship with them.”
When Rafa came to Newcastle he forged a great relationship with the fans and was keen to understand the history of the area.
Rafa wanted to make Newcastle successful and win trophies which is exactly what the fans wanted.
He hasn’t been backed financially by owner Mike Ashley so there is a decent chance this will be the last season he manages at Newcastle.
We hope that’s not the case, but something has to give with Mike Ashley (like sell the club) for Rafa to stay on Tyneside.
Ashley has to support Rafa a lot more in each transfer window if Rafa is to remain the Newcastle manager.