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Pako Ayesteran explains how Rafa Benitez ‘obsession’ has evolved English football

4 years ago

Pako Ayesteran has explained how Rafa Benitez evolved English football.

Having worked with the now Newcastle boss for 12 years, Pako Ayesteran maybe knows Benitez better than anybody.

The coach worked under Rafa from Osasuna, right through to the Champions League at Liverpool, in charge of three Spanish clubs in between, including Valencia and La Liga glory.

When arriving at Anfield, Pako Ayesteran believes Rafa Benitez took English football a number of steps forward, with players surprised at the attention to detail, which saw them monitored and controlled as never before, in the areas of training, diet and hours of sleep.

When it came to scouting players, by the time he arrived at Liverpool, Rafa had a database containing details of over 10,000 players worldwide.

Ayesteran says the Newcastle Manager has an ‘obsession’ – but a good one. Saying that Rafa wants to have such tight control to ensure that things are done correctly.

After the circus that has existed at Newcastle United for years, thankfully Toon fans at last got somebody to take control and turn the club around – you can only wonder what would have happened if yet another clown had been appointed.

Pako Ayesteran talking to The Mail:

“We helped English football evolve – the players were a bit surprised by the level of monitoring and control. We were taking decisions for them over many facets of where they’d been used to be left alone – diet, training, hours of sleep.”

Rafa started building a database of players and he has what can only be described as an obsession – in a good way – over control and being right across things. The idea of worldwide scouting was quite new but he had this database of over 10,000 players, which was new for the time.

“It was training, factors that influence recovery and recuperation, charts of exactly how many minute a player had played over a season. We dug our man-made ‘Pako Hills’, three mounds with different gradients, at the club’s training ground for stamina and resistance training.”



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