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Diego Maradona gives surprise verdict on Rafa Benitez joining Newcastle

5 years ago

Diego Maradona has expressed a bit of a different view to the majority, when talking about Rafa Benitez arriving at Newcastle United.

Both Newcastle supporters and neutrals thought the club had been very lucky to land Rafa after employing clowns such as Pardew, Carver and McClaren.

However, Diego Maradona thinks that it was Rafa Benitez who was lucky to get the job at St James Park.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, Maradona says that after only lasting months and failing to get the best out of the talent at his disposal at Real Madrid, he wonders how Benitez then walked straight into the post at Newcastle.

However, the sub-plot is maybe more to do with the job Rafa Benitez did at his previous job to the one in Madrid.

The now Newcastle boss was given a two year contract at Napoli in 2013 and despite spending big on players, he only delivered a Coppa Italia and failed to qualify for the Champions League group stages in both seasons.

On the other hand, Diego Maradona has God-like status at the Italian club.

Maradona went to unfashionable Napoli in the mid-eighties after an injury hit spell at Barcelona, then almost single-handedly won them their first two Serie A titles, the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia.

So the suggestion is that Maradona is maybe more having a dig at Rafa Benitez for the job he failed to do at Napoli, more than at Real Madrid.

Diego Maradona speaking to Marca as reported by Sport Witness:

“If Benitez, whom I respect very much, was bad in Madrid, let him tell me it was for a lack of players!

“No, he failed.

“But after a while, after failing there, they gave him three years in Newcastle.

“Can someone explain it to me? Is that normal or does something go wrong?”


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