It’s (Finally) Official: Rafa Benitez Presented As New Coach Of Real Madrid

3 Jun

Satellite (4) As was expected, Rafa Benitez was presented today as the new coach of Real Madrid. It’s a homecoming for a man who came up through the cantera and also coached our youth sides.


Rafa Benítez is presented as the new Real Madrid coach

“We herald the arrival of a man who has lived and breathed football, professionalism and the Real Madrid spirit since childhood. He will make us stronger”, declared Florentino Pérez.
Rafa Benítez was presented as the new Real Madrid coach in the Santiago Bernabéu’s presidential box. With a great level of expectation, the president Florentino Pérez welcomed him: “Here in Real Madrid the demands are great and nothing is ever enough. This club works towards perfecting its virtues and valiantly accepting any challenge it is faced with. Today a new era begins and the arrival of our new coach will strengthen us further. Today we are here with a man who has lived and breathed football, professionalism and the Real Madrid spirit ever since he was a boy. He has dreamed about this moment for a long time and now it is a reality”.

“Rafa, you understand the culture of this club and your name is synonymous with hard work, sacrifice, dedication and passion for this sport. You are one of the greatest coaches in the world and use your methodology as a work tool. You communicate excellently with your players and have accumulated a lot of professional experience as well as an impressive trophy collection despite your young age”.

Florentino Perez: “No one better understands what this crest, this jersey and this stadium symbolize.”

“He is a truly home-grown man, having developed as a player and a manager here. Today will be especially emotional for him, as he will be feeling the emotions of someone who first came here at 13 years of age. No one better understands what this crest, this jersey and this stadium symbolise. The desires of our fans now depend on you and you will have the support of our members and of a bunch of extraordinarily talented players. Welcome home”.

Benítez: “I’m home and it is an emotional day”
“It is an emotional day because I’ve returned home. I hope things go well, that we are able to win titles and also that the team play well. I would like to thank the club for the faith they have shown in my work”. The ceremony concluded with a group photo of the new coach alongside Florentino Pérez and the rest of the members of the Board of Directors.

Presentation Video



Benítez: “A team with this much quality have to attack, score goals and win”

“I’ve been working for years to achieve success and returning home was always an aim of mine”, he said.

Rafa Benítez held his first press conference as the new Real Madrid manager following his presentation ceremony in the Santiago Bernabéu: “It is a special day and a very emotional one. I’ve been working for many years to achieve success and return home, which was always one of my aims. I hope that our Real Madrid plays well and wins, that the supporters are entertained and are able to celebrate titles”.

“A lot of memories came flooding back to me during the presentation. When we used to train in the Bernabéu… Memories are what affect you emotionally. Knowing you have a great team, an enormously powerful institution behind you and the objective of winning titles is a big challenge and a continuous source of motivation in terms of carrying out our day-to-day work”.

The goalkeeper debate
“My general plan is to make the most of this great team and not get into the individual aspects today. I have an excellent and extremely professional squad of players and I’ll assess each of them regardless of their name”.

Playing style
“Real Madrid is such a massive club that it always keeps a curious eye on what might be going on in the transfer market. The team have to play at their best if they’re going to win and have a clear idea of what they want to achieve. We need to be a competitive team, play good football and aspire to win. When you’re in charge of a team with this much quality you have to attack, score goals and play well whenever possible”.

“I’ve been involved with football for years and have experience of different structures. I’ve come here to be the coach and make myself available for the club. The squad possesses so much quality that we’ll have to try and get the best out of these players, who are already excellent”.

Signs of support for Ancelotti
“I see that as a very positive thing. The players have to show their affection for a great person and a fantastic coach like Ancelotti. I’d like the same to happen to me whenever the day comes that I might have to leave. I spoke with him and wished him the best. He is a wonderful professional”.

Playing system
“Instead of speaking about the idea and the system today, I think I have to first explain my idea of work. People say I’m a defensive coach but we scored 104 goals at Napoli, a club record. We’ll determine later whether one player or another occupies a certain position. I’m not worried about playing one player or another as they’re all so good”.

Work methodology
“The approach to work is a different thing to the playing system. We’ll train with the ball 80% of the time and without it for the remaining 20%. That’s our way of working, by controlling things and being rigorous, by speaking with the players and seeing how they feel because that has allowed us to get this far. You have to adapt to the quality of the squad, as you have to be attack-minded while maintaining the balance in defence”.

“This is the most talented squad I’ve ever had.”

“I started out at the academy and I know it well. I understand the difficulties involved because I’ve experienced these issues with other teams, for example when I was with Liverpool. My main responsibility is with the first team but that doesn’t mean I won’t be keeping an eye on things and trying to help out where I can. I’ve already spoken with Zidane in Valdebebas”.

The team
“They’re all great professionals. As to who will be playing in this game or the other, that decision will be made when the time comes. I like football and exchanging ideas with my players. The objective is trying to get the whole team to play well by getting the best out of the individual players”.

“You have to compete and try to win here. The onus is on you to play at a very high level. The players have all got plenty of experience and will be able to adapt to this change naturally. There is a process when a new manager arrives but the team still have to be at the top of their game at all times. The president understands that clearly, as do I. My time at Real Madrid has shown me that being number one is all that counts. Finishing second counts for nothing. The objective is to win as much as possible. I’m not prioritising titles, instead I’ll be focusing on winning the next game”.

“Experience shows itself by how we react to given situations. Each league was a different experience. We’re talking about La Liga here as well as an environment we are familiar with. We’ll be trying to apply our experiences from the other leagues in order to win titles”.

“We have a great team and I’m not going to get into names. We have to concentrate on getting settled in and assessing what kind of performances we can likely get out of the squad. After that we’ll see what is best for Real Madrid”.

Technical staff
“Fabio Pecchia played with Juve and Antonio Gómez made his debut with Real Madrid. They are my two assistants and are both exceptional men. Valero is the goalkeeping coach. Paco de Miguel is the fitness coach. Pedro Campos will collaborate with the scouts. They’re all more than ready and their experience will stand to them. Saying that, I’ve met some of the coaches in Valdebebas and we’re going to try and make the most of their knowledge as the club already has some excellent coaches”.

“As a coach you are eternally unsatisfied with your work. Constructive criticism will be welcomed and unconstructive criticism will be ignored. Everyone is capable of improving and learning. What matters is that you do so on the job while the team continue to win”.

Number of managerial changes
“10 is a lucky number. With the demands of football nowadays it’s to be expected that there is a rush to win titles. Every team experiences managerial changes”.

Contract Signing

Contract Signing Video

Touring the Bernabeu & Posing on the Pitch

Bernabeu Video

Touring the Facilities at Cuidad Real Madrid

Valdebebas Video

Rafa’s Coaching Record


Rafa Benítez, Real Madrid’s new coach
by Javi Garcia

Having made his way through the ranks at the club, he returns to the Whites with ample international experience under his belt as well as a long list of titles that includes Champions League, Club World Cup, European Super Cup and La Liga trophies.

Rafael Benítez Maudes (16/04/1960, Madrid) is the new Real Madrid coach. The White club’s latest project will be managed by a man who embodies success, experience and the Real Madrid spirit. Joining from Napoli, the 55-year-old has won everything on the international stage. A Champions League, a Club World Cup, a European Super Cup and two Europa League titles stand proudly in his extensive collection of trophies, which also includes 2 La Liga titles.

Well used to the pressures involved with managing big teams in Spain, Italy and England, he is the only Spanish coach to have reached 100 games in the European Cup. A methodical tactician, tireless worker and footballing scholar, Benítez is one of the greatest coaches on the global stage.

While his achievements speak for themselves, so too does his knowledge of the club and the values associated with Real Madrid. Benítez is a home-grown talent. After making his way through the Real Madrid youth ranks between 13 and 20 years of age, he got his coaching career underway at the Whites’ academy. For nine seasons he trained various youth teams, eventually taking the reins of Castilla and then becoming the second in command of the first team, in the 93-94 season.

He has won at least one title in his first year with each of his last 5 teams.

He left Real Madrid in 1995 and continued his coaching career with Valladolid, Osasuna and Extremadura. After gaining promotion to the Spanish topflight with Tenerife, he signed for Valencia in 2001. During his three years with the club he won two La Liga titles and one Europa League.

The Champions League
He took charge of Liverpool in the summer of 2004 and the team were crowned European champions during his first year at the club. He was at the helm for six seasons and also picked up a European Super Cup, a Community Shield and an FA Cup. Additionally, he was named UEFA Manager of the Year in 2004 and 2005. His next project was at Inter Milan, where he won the Club World Cup and the Italian Super Cup.

Titles during his last three seasons
He made his way back to England in 2012, this time to take over at Chelsea. And once again he lifted a continental title during his first season in charge: the Europa League. His last job was at Napoli, with whom he won the Cup and the Italian Super Cup during his two seasons with the club. With his status among the elite managers cemented, Benítez now makes his return to Real Madrid with the objective of adding more silverware to the world’s most lauded club.

1986-1995: Real Madrid academy
1995-1996: Real Valladolid
1996-1997: Osasuna
1997-1999: Extremadura
2000-2001: Tenerife
2001-2004: Valencia
2004-2010: Liverpool
2010-2010: Inter Milan
2012-2013: Chelsea
2013-2015: Napoli
2015- : Real Madrid

– 1 Champions League (2005 with Liverpool)
– 1 Club World Cup (2010 with Inter)
– 1 European Super Cup (2005 with Liverpool)
– 2 Europa League (2004 with Valencia and 2013 with Chelsea)
– 2 La Ligas (2002 and 2004 with Valencia)
– 1 FA Cup (2006 with Liverpool)
– 1 Copa de Italia (2014 with Napoli)
– 2 Italian Super Cups (2010 with Inter and 2014 with Napoli)
– 1 FA Community Shield (2006 with Liverpool)

Individual awards:
– Named UEFA Manager of the Year: 2004 and 2005.

Rafa with Real Madrid

As you read above, Rafa joined our cantera at age 13 worked his way up to Real Madrid C. He coached for 9 years working with the U16, U17, U19 and Real Madrid B teams. He was one of Del Bosque’s assistants with the first team as well. Check out this shot I found of the two of them!


Rafa and Vicente Del Bosque (moustache on fleek even then)

Here’s a few more pictures from his time with the club.

Rafa’s Career Video

So that was Rafa’s (re)introduction to Real Madrid. I kinda feel bad that one of the first things he was asked about was the goalkeeper situation. If it were me, I probably would have replied “Can I please just unpack my bags first, FFS?!”

Welcome home, new Mister!

– Lozil

2 Responses to “It’s (Finally) Official: Rafa Benitez Presented As New Coach Of Real Madrid”

  1. Mandy June 3, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

    With a sigh I resignedly say, “Whatever.”

  2. jellyace June 4, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    I wish him well because I would hate to think Real Madrid just bought its way into mediocrity.

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