Rafa Benitez has reflected on his time at Real Madrid and says ‘you need more than big names,’ but cites ‘external problems,’ not internal.
Benitez was appointed in the summer of 2015 but lasted until only January 2016 before he was replaced by Zinedine Zidane, and began an interview with Fox Sports be recalling Los Blancos’ approach.
“It was a little strange. I was expecting a Premier League club and Madrid called, the fourth time they called me, the team of my city, of my life, and it was time to say yes,” the Newcastle manager said, AS reports.
“I came to a great club where everything has to be perfect but I think I did a good job. We were two points behind Barcelona, first in our Champions League group, so we did our job, but you can’t control everything that happens around a team.
“The President wanted to do well in La Liga. Clearly it was his priority, and to this you need a team of more than big names, where quality players make the difference, that’s my way of working. That was my idea, then things weren’t going well. It was more external than internal, because the team worked well, the players are professionals and we did what we had to do. It was more of an external issue.
“The relationship with the players was good. On a team there’s a lot who play and a lot who don’t, but the relationship with most of the players was perfect, because they’re true professionals. Then when you change Coach, things change, but I had to go there and I did.
“I was happy with my last match [against Valencia] because we had 10 players and we were a real team. I wanted to create a group to be strong enough to win the title but I wasn’t able to. I have to look forward and I’m in an exciting project.”