Obviously Real Madrid was just a stepping stone for Rafa Benitez before his eventual dream job at St James Park…

However, it must be one of the Newcastle Manager’s biggest regrets, that things at the Bernabeu didn’t work out as hoped.

Despite only lasting seven months in the job, Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez had thanked Rafa Benitez, saying he ‘showed his affection to Madrid when he was here’.

The Real Madrid President has been giving an overview of how the club is performing on and off the pitch, talking about the contribution of the likes of Ronaldo and Zidane, as well as the now Newcastle boss.

Whilst Steve McClaren hilariously claimed that he had been the right man for Newcastle United, just at the wrong time, maybe that was the case for Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid, with circumstances (and star players..?) conspiring against him.

Florentino Perez as reported by Football Espana:

“Zinedine Zidane symbolises everything that is Madrid.

“He is part of Madrid’s legend. One of the decisions that I feel most proud of is to have brought him to Madrid, first as a player and then as a Coach.

“He has won the Champions League with Madrid as a player, an assistant and Coach.

“We’ve managed to overcome the revenue barrier of €600m. It stands at €620m, a historical record, and we’ve grown at a rate of 11 percent since 2000. Forbes highlights us once more as the world’s most valuable club.

“Cristiano was again the top scorer in the Champions League with 16 goals, he won the Golden Boot for the fourth time and is the only player who has done.

“He was best player in Europe for UEFA and is the top scorer in Madrid’s history with 369 goals. He is mythical for Madrid and football.

“I also want to give Rafa Benitez a word of thanks. He showed his affection to Madrid when he was here.”