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:

Newcastle United:

“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.”



  • Rich Lawson

    Any agreement that Rafa comes to with Ashley about his position and money available needs to be put out to the public in print just so we can see if the owner tries to take a lying swerve later ?

    • Damon Horner

      Never will and Rafa would probably concur with that. They will be dealing with clubs in a buying and selling capacity and those clubs knowing our budgets won’t benefit us in the slightest.

      • Rich Lawson

        I’ve thought about that,but would still do it,cos eventually the selling club relent if no better offer on the table and Rafa wont be held to ransom whatever !

        • Damon Horner

          but Rafa won’t be held to ransom more than he would need to be. I understand why fans have the trepidation but while Rafa is there we have to trust it’s going well.

  • Simon Ritter

    Any adult football follower in Italy should know that staying at Newcastle United was never “disappearing from football”. We battered Internazionale in their crummy stadium in 2003. Rafa the Gaffer has done us proud and I sincerely hope for more of the same.

    • Rob Brown

      2003? Looks like a little bit of desperation creeping into proving a point there!

      • Simon Ritter

        Never to be forgotten if you were there. The highest point in 40-plus years of supporting Newcastle United.

        • Toonrobbybobson

          Naaa for me it was watching on in Rotterdam winning in injury with last kick to qualify for next stage.

          • Simon Ritter

            I’m sure Rotterdam was more joyous but our overall performance in Milan (even though we wasted a late chance to win it when Gary Speed RIP missed by a few inches with a back-post header) was magical. The fans and the team stood up to be counted that night.

          • Toonrobbybobson

            Well all I will say is, ‘have you ever seen a mackem in Milan?’

          • Simon Ritter

            As we sang hundreds of times, before, during and after the match. Much to the bemusement of the Inter fans. Happy daze!

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Ashley`s a snake in the grass & you can`t believe a word he says, it only took him 6 months to do the dirty on Rafa, until the day they kick off next season & the players Rafa wants are there in a Black & White Shirt, believe nothing

  • Wor Monga

    The difference is that Inter weren’t bothered about any massive crowd reaction when Rafa went, and felt they’d replace him easily, and then move on…but any backsliding from Ashley here would be different from what went on previously with any other manager we’ve had…this one is the one we’ve been needing since Sir Bob, and it wouldn’t end up with those laughable p!$$ weak demonstrations, that we saw 2 years ago!!!

    • Rob Brown

      Sadly – P!$$ weak demonstrations are all we know how to do.

  • Damon Horner

    The insecurity from the fans feels strange. Just got to be patient with Rafa staying or going serving as any indication of how the summers going to go. Just enjoy the promotion for now guys.

    • Soldier

      the feeling of insecurity lies at the door of Ashley not Rafa

      • Damon Horner

        so the fans are just going to live in permanent apprehension? If Rafa’s in a job here it should be enough to suggest Ashley’s not reverting to stereotype.

  • Soldier

    should be an interesting conversation between Ashley & Rafa, 1 a world wise manager, the other a man who hasn`t got a clue about football yet has the ultimate power

    • Jezza

      I’ve got a pretty shrewd idea how that conversation will go. Rafa will explain that he needs substantial funds to build a team capable of at least surviving if not competing in the Premiership. Ashley’s reply will be:

      “You’ve got to sell before you can buy and if you don’t like it, I’ve got somebody lined up who will be more than happy to do the job on those terms”.

      • Soldier

        that`s very likely

        • toonterrier

          I’ve heard that the meeting will be shown live on the Disney channel.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    You know what I like… Rafa has a plan. It will be detailed exactly to what we need and no scattergun like a McClaren or Pardew.

    Thing is Rafa soldplayers at profit and players he brought in would get same or more for.

    That in itself should see Rafa backed.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Nice sentiment, but Fatso got rid of the last man with a plan

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Yeah but Rafa knows what hes doing

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          well i hope you`re right, if Rafa goes we`re Doomed

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Maybe im wishful thinking after such a good day yesterday

  • LeroyGibbs

    According to one report Carr is “letting it be known” that he is still in charge of recruitment. If that stays the case Rafa will be off.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      with a bit of luck he`s next on the list of HMRC when they see he`s the number 1 guy dealing in France
      but if you`re right Rafa will be gone

    • Albert Stubbins

      apparently the makems are looking for an experienced recruitment manager- there’s a report that he may be off doon the road.
      n.b* I am responsible for the report.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Nee TV for the lads next week, the nitwits at Sky have picked 2 relegation matches
    i hope they enjoy the viewing figures which will be a 1,000 with a bit of luck

  • HappyToons

    Ashley will be sitting behind his men in black bouncers on his Big Sport’s Direct logo but small faux leatherette Office chair, wearing his ‘666-M’ASHLEY’ Nufc Shirt, and will say:

    ‘Rafa it is BIG TIME, £150 million, go spend and make us great again …see you next May with that shiny trophy my son ‘

  • thewildchimp

    Chill out with the January, lads.

    • thewildchimp

      It has probably cost us the title, but who cares, apart from the lads? I also hope Rafa will stay, but if it doesn’t happen – it doesn’t happen. We should just be grateful to him for all that he achieved. And raise some hell, of course.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        The officiating standards in this league cost us the title… bunch of 🤡