Realistically fans knew who the replacement was when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked last week. It was a sad story of a man who gave everything for the club but never won the respect of the club executives.
Madrid's season was deemed a failure by the board, and with failures come consequences. Carlo Ancelotti, along with his coaching staff are the first ones to go under the axe, and without doubt not the last.
Benitez enters a dressing room that is shaken by the recent firing of someone who many players called their friend and mentor. It will of course take a while for them to earn his respect. Cristiano Ronaldo was one the star names that posted a picture of Ancelotti to his social media pages saying he hopes to work with him next season.
Article continues below
Although Rafa is known for his tactics, like the ones that allowed his Liverpool team to come back from 3-0 and win the Champions League many years ago, he is not known for playing exciting football. In the past decade he as enjoyed little success with the clubs he managed. Rafa's stint in Napoli led him to only win a Copa Italia trophy. In Chelsea he only won a Europe League trophy the season after they won the Champions League under the wing of Roberto Di Matteo.
In Inter Milan, Benitez inherited Jose Mourinho's treble winning team, but was sacked after half a season. He managed to pick up an Italian Super Cup trophy and the FIFA Club World Cup. Benitez's time in Liverpool was the most successful time of his career. In his first two seasons, he managed to win the Champions league and then the FA cup.
Article continues below
His questionable record, which includes no major titles in the last five years, has fans wondering if the club management had made a sane choice. With other managers seemingly available such as Jurgen Klopp, one must think that Real Madrid made a hasty choice with the Rafa Benitez signing.
There are positives to this, however. The club had stated that they wished to bring in a Spanish speaking manager and in signing Benitez they have got their wish. They also bring back someone who is familiar with Real Madrid as a club. Benitez played for and later managed the Real Madrid youth squad. He acted as assistant coach to Vincente Del Bosque in 1994, but shortly after returned to manage Real Madrid Castilla.