At the outset of this 3 piece exposition reviewing the Real Madrid coaching circus, we fully expected the imminent appointment of Rafa Benitez. Our expectations were confirmed on the 3rd of June, as Benitez was installed as Head Coach of Real Madrid for the next 3 seasons.
In an emotional press conference, Benitez was quoted, “It’s an emotional day returning here to my home,” at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.
“I have a good technical team behind me and I hope things go well, that we win titles and the team plays well.”
After a long day, Benítez dropped in on Onda Cero to take part in their radio programme, ‘Al Primer Toque’.
Rafa assured that improving the team was going to be very difficult and once again declared how happy he was to return home. The manager also insisted that in no way was he a manager with defensive leanings.
Over the moon: “When my agent mentioned the possibility of coming to Real Madrid, I was the happiest man in the world. It came as a surprise because at that time I was focused on other things.”
The present team: “We managers are eternally dissatisfied; everything can be improved on, but it’s difficult to improve what there is. In time, we’ll talk about what possibilities for signing new players exist – but always aware of what we already have.”
A defensive manager?: “It doesn’t upset me that they say so. At Liverpool, for example, we scored 199 goals. If a team has quality players in attack, then it must be more attacking. It all depends on the team that you have.”
A born winner: “I like winning. When I don’t, I go over it again and again in my head. The key is to make the team competitive in all games and competitions; that’s why I know I’m going to enjoy this year. I prefer being in such a great club and winning great thin
Assessing the case against Benitez is now unnecessary. For we could go into his uneasy journey to the Real Madrid hot seat in recent seasons, from his lacklustre win ratio, or his management style, but it would ultimately prove to be a fruitless exercise.
The sports betting world seems indifferent to the Rafa Benítez effect. Those responsible for determining the odds still think that Barcelona will successfully defend their La Liga crown next season.
In fact, the odds on who will be the next La Liga champions have not changed a bit since Benítez’s presentation at the Bernabéu. Barcelona are still the odds-on favourites to lift the league title. Real Madrid are second behind Barcelona.
Strangely though, this time last year, having just lifted ‘La Décima’, Ancelotti’s Real Madrid were the bookies’ favourites to not only win La Liga, but also the Champions League. Luis Enrique’s Barça were outsiders to win both titles, and now, a year later, the Catalans have won the treble.
It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold. What is certain, is that Perez will not be willing to sit idly and let the world’s press celebrate the Barcelona triplet. He will act to steal the headlines and make sure that Real Madrid returns to the front of sports newspapers around the world. Expect the De Gea signing any day now, and expect one or two more galacticos to join him at Valdebebas.