Search icon


03rd Jun 2015

Real deal Rafa: Madrid back Benitez to the hilt

Rafa winner...

Nooruddean Choudry

Real Madrid have shown an outstanding level of trust in Rafa Benitez by securing his services for the next three seasons – at the very least.

The rotund tactician was doing a sterling job of guiding Napoli to a top-five finish in Serie A, but when Real came a-knocking with a lengthy three-year deal, it was impossible for Benitez to refuse that kind of assured stability.

The deal ensures that Rafa is safe in his job until at least the end of the 2017/18 season, which means he can build a side from the foundations up, rather than worrying about instant results or papering over cracks with star names.

Such is the perfect synergy between coach and club that the length of the contract is largely irrelevant. The former Liverpool manager’s penchant for defensive-minded football is ideally suited to Real’s swashbuckling style.

The club’s preening prima donnas will welcome Rafa’s trademark dictatorial style, which will be a welcome change from previous coach Carlo Ancelotti’s liberal tactics, which shackled them with a lack of defensive duties.

It is refreshing to see a club the size of Real Madrid show such commitment to a long-term architect like Benitez. His record over the last nine seasons of 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd, 7th, 3rd, 3rd and 5th flies in the face of immediate success.

One thing is for certain, the Bernabeu club will give Benitez their full backing for the entirely of his contract – Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini, Juande Ramos, Bernd Schuster, Fabio Capello, Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, Mariano Garcia Remon, Jose Antonio Camacho, Carlos Queiroz and Vicente del Bosque can certainly vouch for that.