Twenty years and five football clubs later, Rafael Benitez can finally reunite with his one true love: Real Madrid.
But much as the Spanish manager loves his new home, taking over Real Madrid has never been an easy task. Rafa will have to deal with a lot of imminent problems, if he wants his reign at Santiago Bernabeu to last longer than (the fan's) expectation.
And here are just four of them...
1. CLASH OF THE KEEPERS
Two years after Jose Mourinho was dethroned, Real Madrid still struggle with their goalkeeping position. The problem should have been solved, following Diego Lopez's departure and Carlo Ancelotti's appointment; but the acquisition of Keylor Navas and Iker Casillas' awful performances once again posed a great question mark to whoever succeeded Ancelotti.
With 34-year-old Casillas and above-average Keylor Navas, no doubt that Rafa Benitez will have to do his best to solve the riddle. Can David de Gea be the answer?
2. GARETH BALE
After a marvelous debut season, no surprise to see Madrid fans booing at Gareth Bale this season for his disappointing performance. However, Florentino Perez thinks otherwise, looking forward to seeing Bale taking on the leading role at Real.
Freedom is all there is to it. The Welshman needs more freedom than what he was given last season, playing behind Ronaldo and sometimes, even behind James Rodriguez.
3. CRISTIANO RONALDO
It would be unfair to put Gareth Bale down as a threat to Benitez without mentioning CR7. Benitez is notorious for taking down a lot of superstars in every club he has been through, John Terry at Chelsea, Milito at Inter and Hamsik at Napoli, to name but a few examples.
Nevertheless, at Real Madrid where the name Ronaldo equals 'lucky charm', it would be a good advice for the old Madrid man to follow Carlo Ancelotti's footstep and step aside a little bit.
Individually, last season was another huge success for Ronaldo, winning La Liga's Pichichi for the most goals scored as well as the Ballon d'Or. Keeping Ronaldo in a good mood will certainly give Benitez great advantage in his adventure in Bernabeu.
4. THE BOSS
Florentino Perez's dictator-like managing style is something the whole world knows about. Nine managers in only 12 years under his reign, that's a lot for even a tiny relegation-prone team.
From Perez's viewpoint, money is spent not to have great players warming up the substitution bench. Carlo Ancelotti had a hard time fitting all the stars into his formation, but Benitez has learnt his lesson. Pleasing man like Perez will be a hard task for Benitez, but if he could win his boss' heart, Rafa would have everything.
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