Meet the great Rafa Benitez, a big hit in England, Spain and Italy

Benitez’s trophy-littered Inter stint, as seen through Rafa’s eyes...


With Rafael Benitez approaching 15 months out of work, The Spoiler has found a way that he could pocket a tidy sum before finding a new club: offering the UK and Spain’s millions of unemployed youngsters a crash course in CV embellishment.

As the last coach to have won La Liga with someone other than Barcelona and Real Madrid and a guy who guided a fantastically mediocre Liverpool side to Champions League glory, he can justifiably be proud of what he has achieved as a manager.

But it’s his ability to polish up some of the less successful moments of his career to build a list of accomplishments even longer than his epic “facts” statement that leaves The Spoiler in a state of awe.

“How managers have experience at winning in three different countries?” he mused, presumably ignoring the onlookers bellowing the names Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Louis van Gaal, Arsene Wenger, Dick Advocaat and even Graeme Souness.

It is indeed a fact that he has won silverware in three countries: La Liga and the UEFA Cup in Spain, the FA Cup, Community Shield and Champions League in England, and, erm, the Supercoppa Italia and Club World Cup in Italy.

And of course, he is still revered for the historic feat of beating Roma in a one-off game and seeing off Seongnam Ilhwa and TP Mazembe in similar circumstances by Inter fans, who were so impressed by those triumphs that they disowned Mourinho.

Well, it was either that or they were dumbfounded by how he conspired to lead their treble-winning team to just six Serie A wins in 15 matches and he was gone by Christmas despite the shiny trophies, the answer to his call for Massimo Moratti to back or sack him being an emphatic “see you later pal”.

Who are we to argue with Benitez’s memories of that fleeting stay in Milan though? If you suspect that Roman Abramovich will prefer Rafa’s recollection, odds of 4/1 are offered on him taking charge of Chelsea to loud applause from besotted Liverpool supporters everywhere, or so he expects.

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5 responses so far
  • RafasRedMen // March 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Mourinho ditched inter on the slide, how many managers have they had since and failed?

  • Al // March 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Errmmm buddy you should realize that even though Benitez didnt win any trophy after the FA Cup in England, he immensely upgraded the team in the most feared team in Europe and one of the best in England. Considering his NET budget and the budget of the other top 3 teams, he was in a far worse situation yet he pulled a team with TOP defense, TOP midfield and and a good attack. The problem is that he didn’t have enough backing to build the depth in the team. Otherwise he would have won almost every trophy out there, unlike other managers who have everything but find it very hard to earn a trophy.

  • 140picks // March 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Rafa would probably still be the best (short term) solution for Chelsea. Guardiola will not come. Who else?

  • Ali // March 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I’m not saying Benitez is a genius, but if you’re gonna have a go at him for counting his easy titles at Inter, then you need to be less ridiculous when making a list of other managers who have won titles in different countries. Those people have won three titles in different countries, but it’s mostly in countries with weaker competeition. Benitez was talking about Spain, England and Italy, not Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey etc.

  • james // March 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    um. i cant tell if this is sarcastic or not. yes he built valencia. but he inherited the main body of the champions league winning side and with remnance of that side onto the FA cup win and very little since then. after inherriting the inter milan team suffering a drop. defensive tactics of serie A and the offensive 3 at the back in italy was simply not going to work.

    just a little jubious

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