Rafa Benitez has admitted he would one day like to be Spain’s Coach, and reflected that he does have a soft spot for Real Madrid.
The current Chelsea interim manager sat down with RNE this week to discuss a number of topics, beginning with the possibility of succeeding Vicente del Bosque in the Spain hotseat.
“I see La Seleccion as a career option, although a little later on. Now I want to work every day,” explained the former Valencia Coach.
“The day that Vicente del Bosque, who is doing a sensational job, says he will go, then yes. And maybe after a couple more Coaches have been in the job. Maybe then I would like to be the Coach.
“But, it has to be earned. For that, you have to keep doing things right among the footballing elite.”
Benitez is currently working in the Premier League at Chelsea, but has endured an indifferent start in terms of results and his reception with the club’s fans.
“The thing with some Chelsea fans is that in the past I was manager at Liverpool and there was a lot of rivalry between the two teams.
“But in fairness I am professional and fully focussed on achieving success for Chelsea. When we win a game I am the happiest man in the world. Now I win them with Chelsea and for Chelsea.
“When we arrived the team was practically out of the Champions League, on the slide in the Premier League and had lost painfully in the European Supercup.
“They are a team in transition and it is not easy getting the right results.
“The difficult is in trying to get your ideas across but with the drawback of only having so much time in which to do it, because we play two or three games a week.
“A simple fact: we are the team that has played the most games in Europe. But, the team has performed well in many games. We have over 100 goals scored.”
Benitez has been linked with a return to La Liga next summer and to take on Real Madrid.
“I have a contract until the end of the season with Chelsea and I will do everything possible for this club to do as well as we can. Real Madrid have, today, a Coach with an existing contract and that deserves respect.
“As a Coach, you always have your sweetheart. I have a link with the fans, I have been treated well there.
“And I came to Madrid when I was 13 and I am of Madrid, but I do not want to get into speculation because my words are always interpreted.
“Do I miss Spain? Sure, the other day my daughter sent me a picture of a sandwich of tortilla. Ham also. My friends here think I am crazy when I have that and enjoy it.”
Summer arrival at Stamford Bridge Cesar Azpilicueta has notably emerged under Benitez this season.
“He is progressing a lot and is very well. With him we have been wrong, but for the better.
“We thought that he would be in the team this year, but we never imagined it would be so soon, but he deserves it.
“And he will grow and evolve if he continues working as he is.”
But Fernando Torres was again left out of the Spain squad this term, again struggling for goals and form at the London club.
“Increasingly he is getting more chances and he will score goals, in terms of his work and the chances he has to be successful.
“It depends on Vicente [del Bosque, if he picks him or not], of course, and the decision is his and his alone. But I work watching Fernando, I think yes, he will return.”