Rafael Benitez rejected the chance to become Real Madrid manager in 2009, because he was still in the Liverpool hot-seat at the time.
That’s the claim made by Los Blancos chief Florentino Perez, as relayed by the Liverpool Echo, who says that he offered the Santiago Bernabeu position to Benitez six years ago.
Perez on Benitez
The ex-Reds manager, who was teary eyed when he was officially appointed Real’s new boss earlier this summer, chose to decline Perez’s proposal however, instead wishing to stay at Anfield.
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“I thought of him in 2009 and offered him the job," he said.
“The circumstances didn’t allow it because he had renewed with Liverpool and couldn’t leave them. Benitez is Spanish, a Madridista.
“Rafa Benitez is the best for Madrid at this time.
“He knows the culture, the values, and is from this house.”
Of course only a year later Benitez was sacked by Liverpool, and a failed spell with Inter Milan followed. Real meanwhile opted for Manuel Pellegrini, who lasted just a year before being ousted in favour of Jose Mourinho.
It was Carlo Ancelotti though, who Benitez replaced this summer, with many wondering whether or not the ex-Napoli boss is good enough for one of the most powerful seats in football.
The Real position is notoriously difficult to hold down, and an exceptionally demanding job to have given how much pressure the manager is from both the board and the fans.
With a failure to sign David de Gea this summer - Perez’s top target - Benitez might have already got off on the wrong foot, and with his side only managing to draw against newly-promoted Sporting Gijon, questions have already been asked over his suitability.
Real fans, do you think Benitez is the right man moving forward for your club? Let us know in the comments box below.