Monday, June 01, 2015

Benitez to Madrid

Rafa Benitez has been confirmed as the new coach of Real Madrid after the Spanish giants decided to get rid of Carlo Ancelotti, unsurprisingly after he had won nothing this season.
If anything is unsurprising about Benitez' appointment is that it had not happened before. Rafa Benitez seems to have been aiming at this job ever since he started as a youth coach in Real Madrid and Castilla (a satellite club for Real Madrid): to be Senior coach of Real Madrid seemed to be in the cards, but he first had to build up his career. After some initial tries in Valladolid and Tenerife, it was at Valencia where Benitez first found success; he joined the team in 2001 and until he left in 2004 he brought two Spanish championships and one Europa League title. It was surely the best years of Valencia, who let Benitez go for the hapless Claudio Ranieri....
But that is another story.
Benitez went on to Liverpool whom he took to one Champions League title, one final and one FA Cup, but despite this, never to the craved Premier League title, and he left in 2011.
After a short unsuccesful stint at Inter Milan, Benitez went on to become "interim" coach of Chelsea, whom he took to a Europa League title, but never fulfilled the high expectations of the moneymen in London, and in 2013 he went on a two-year stint to Napoli, whom he took to a Cup title and gave them a somewhat decent return to Europe.
And now he has resigned to take the post he probably has been longing for: Real Madrid coach. It will be interesting, because he knows Real Madrid and is a very demanding coach. But at the same time he will be under the same pressure as any other Real Madrid coaches: titles or leave.

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