There’s a very long interview in the Chronicle today where Rafa actually strays away from football and talks about other things in his life.
He has three dogs at his Wirral home, and he says he’s had dogs all his life and is a dog lover.
He has talked about when he goes home to the Wirral to be with his family and in this piece he talks about his love of dogs.
Rafa Benitez – a dog lover
This is what Rafa has said today:
“When I go home and stay with my family, this is the time off that I have.” “And here, we are walking around.”
“I play cards with my staff in our quieter moments, the Spanish game Mus and I enjoy that a lot, playing and competing.”
“We are not thinking about football all the time.”
“It’s the dog (pointing at a picture).” “To be fair, it’s not just one dog, it’s three dogs. I can only fit one on!”
“My dogs are called Red, the German Shepherd, one is Goofy, a springer spaniel, and then Clem, the Labrador.”
“He is called Clem because my daughter is called Claudia and a friend is called Emma – we put their names together.”
“Goofy is my wife’s dog.” “He’s the boss.”
“I try in both Spanish and English (to the dogs), but they don’t understand me!”
“I have always had dogs, all my life.” “We were training them.” “I had one dog, a Doberman, and he was very good.”
“We would have competitions so we were training them.”
“He was the grandson of a champion dog in the United States and he was quite good, but died at three years with cancer in his brain.”
“He was very fast and very strong.” “When I was training, I’d be running with him.”
“And very dangerous in the night because when you took him out and he was running about, if somebody came up you’d have to be very careful because he was very, very fast. I was 26 or 28 at the time.”
“I was living on the fourth floor, so I’d have to take him out for a pee and he’d be pulling me down the stairs.”
“We also had a white Alsatian, too, really nice, which lived for 14 years.”
“A lot of my family – my sister, my brother, my two uncles, they are vets.”
“We have always had dogs and animals around.”
So Rafa is just an ordinary person like the rest of us – he’s just world-class at what he does for a living.