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It has been 19 years since Rafael Benitez left the club where he cut his playing and coaching teeth and finally he set to return to the Santiago Bernabeu and take the hot seat. Benitez is a former player with Castilla and a successful coach from the age of 26. He worked hard and made his way up the ranks via the Under 19s. He was an assistant to Vicente Del Bosque. Now, he is coming home with the blessing of top man of Real Madrid, namely Florentino Perez.
Real Madrid Vice-president Eduardo Fernandez confirmed the appointment telling the press,
“Carlo Ancelotti is a real phenomenon to me. Three days ago, he was the best coach in the world, as two years ago the best was Jose Mourinho and now it will be Rafael Benitez.”
Previously, Perez tried several times to lure Benitez and bring him back to Bernabeu. It is the third time for the Real Madrid President who always had Benitez in his mind from the moment he had decided to dismiss Carlo Ancelotti.
Rafa Benitez Is the Perfect Manager for Real Madrid:
Rafael Benitez is a man who understands completely about Real Madrid. He will be fully aware about managing a club like Real entails to the players, the executive board and the media affairs. As many of the players are disappointed following the news of Ancelotti’s departure, they issued a number of farewells for him. It is not really a good sign giving the outgoing Carlo a heart-warming uplift.
Actually, players are always sorry to see a manager leaving. It will be a greater challenge for the players to accept new coach who might be tempted to get the ball rolling with double training dose. The players might sacrifice to luxuriate in the comfort zone.
Rafael Benitez is certainly that kind of manager I’m talking about. He is returning here with the full backing and unconditional support from the Club’s hierarchy. Benitez is a man with definite plan. He is going to make the players work as a team. He will balance the offensive and defensive section by doing more training jobs. When the time comes for him to leave, it will not be a simple ‘bon voyage’ type at all for sure.
However, there are many complaints about Benitez. Some critics accuse him to be an over defensive coach. Few days ago, in an interview with Marca, he was quick to point out the disbelief, mentioning the difference between organized which was previously perceived as defensive.
Let’s have a look at the titles he won over the years- two La Liga for Valencia, a Champions League for Liverpool, two Europa league titles for Chelsea and Valencia, FA and Italian Cup finals for Liverpool and Napoli respectively. Benitez’s squad are always set up to score goals. The teams are organized in a way to win the titles. There are many trophies in his achievement which are not only own by the mere act of scoring goals after goals, but also by that of not conceding. In the interview he added, it is obviously talent which is all well and good, but eventually the team have to be organized in a proper way.
He is a master at using and adapting to what he has available. At Liverpool, it was him, who transformed Steven Gerrard to an efficient goal machine by playing behind Fernando Torres. It was one of his most successful strategies and was regarded as the stuff of legend. Benitez is also a prolific idol of tactics such as zonal marking and squad rotation. During the first implementation, they were controversial, but they were innovative and effective too.
Many coaches followed his methods, yet he never received the credit of being the chief pioneer of such approach. He is also the first to adapt the technique of twin holding midfielders. The tactic was so effective in creating balance in all areas. But alas! He is still accused of being a defensive minded coach.
Under his guidance, Liverpool scored a total of 119 goals in the 2007-08 season in EPL, which was more than any other English club. However, there is a little doubt about one thing. Will he be able to do whatever he wish at Bernabeu?
It will be a great challenge for Rafa Benitez. He will be eager to do things his way and will have a supremely organized approach to build the team. Hopefully, Real Madrid will return as a major in the next season both at home and abroad.