Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the Italian media.
The Newcastle boss giving an interview to Corriere dello Sport, talking about his situation at St James Park, as well as his time at Inter Milan, plus other areas of interest.
When it comes to staying at Newcastle United after relegation last May, Rafa Benitez had to explain to the Italian newspaper that it wasn’t a case of ‘disappear from the football scene’.
Rather, he explained that it was simply his choice to stay because he wanted to and that he had ‘the weight of enormous responsibility’ on his shoulders to get the club back into the Premier League.
An achievement which he says was ‘a gift for all of Newcastle’.
As for Inter Milan though, Rafa Benitez says that he still has many friends there and he will be happy if they are successful in the future BUT he was also keen to spell out exactly wat went wrong when he took over from Jose Mourinho.
Rafa saying that he had explained to the club owners that a major overhaul of playing staff was needed because they had an older squad.
The now Newcastle boss saying that despite having come to an agreement on what backing he would have in summer 2010 in the transfer market, instead he had ‘broken promises’.
Instead of being backed to bring in the big signings needed, instead the then Inter boss was starved of the necessary funds and the Seria A club actually made a profit in that transfer window of some £12m.
Seven years later and we saw a very unhappy Rafa Benitez in January 2017, saying that he couldn’t understand why the signings he’d asked for hadn’t been made.
Ever the professional, Rafa was then straight back into the job in hand and said everything else could wait until the end of the season, with gaining promotion the only focus in the short-term.
It is widely reported that the Newcastle Manager is set to meet this week with Mike Ashley to speak about the ‘future’. fans worrying that the owner will treat Rafa in the same way he did the likes of Kevin Keegan and Chris Hughton.
Rafa Benitez says that ‘At Inter it felt like a massive wasted opportunity’, something which would be really criminal if repeated at St James Park.
Rafa Benitez speaking to Corriere dello Sport:
“I chose to stay at Newcastle because I wanted to get back into the Premier League, which we had tried to defend when I arrived at the club in a desperate situation.
“I didn’t disappear from the football scene, it was my choice.
“We had the weight of enormous responsibility on our shoulders and I felt that – as I found myself elected to the role of idol.
“Our promotion is a gift for all of Newcastle.”
Rafa on his time at Inter Milan which lasted just six months, leaving in December 2010:
“At Inter it felt like a massive wasted opportunity, which I have pointed out many times.
When I first arrived, I received promises that were not kept.
“I had laid out a path, the moment had come to change out of necessity, the average age of the squad was too high.
“It wasn’t my fault that things ended badly and after all, I contributed to bringing the Italian Super Cup and the Club World Cup into their trophy room.
“We are talking about a big club that will do well in future and I’ll be happy for them, I left many friends there.
“So much time has passed, it seems superfluous now to go over what went wrong but…
“Without spending any money on the transfer market, we won two trophies, so I think that’ll do for anyone.”