This previous Rafa Benitez team break in the sun didn’t go too well…
Rafa Benitez is taking his players off for a break in the sun next week.
The Newcastle boss left without a match as Spurs are in FA Cup action next weekend.
Rafa revealing he will take his players to Spain on Thursday (15 March) and return on the Sunday.
There then follows a two week international break.
I was interested to read what Rafa Benitez said about the break, particularly when he glossed over his ‘most famous’ one in the past.
Rafa Benitez – Friday 9 March 2018:
“If we go there, it is because we have to play a game against a competitive team, we will train and try to keep everyone together.
“The good thing is that the complex where we will be, it is not in the middle of a town, so they have to stay there – relax and focus on football.
“I have not had big problems with my teams in the past, although the most famous was in Portugal with Liverpool, where we had a few problems…although we then beat Barcelona.
“The idea is to go next week, try to play a game and then come back.”
‘Will the players be allowed to drink?’
“Yes, they can drink water, no problem!”
The ‘famous’ trip Rafa refers to, is when he took his Liverpool squad to the Algrave in 2007.
One of Rafa’s players back in 2007, John Arne Riise, recalled that particular trip for the Liverpool Echo::
“We were allowed to go out on a team dinner on the last night and I remember Rafa Benitez told us we could have one beer.
“Some had more than one…
“We had a private room in a karaoke bar and Bellamy kept saying ‘Ginge is going up to sing’.
“I said ‘No, I’m not singing. I can do a lot of things but singing is not one of them’.
“Bellamy wouldn’t leave it.
“I kept saying: ‘No, no, no’, but he kept on annoying me.
“When he grabbed the microphone and said again: ‘Ginge, is coming up to sing’, I went up to his face and told him clearly I wouldn’t be and to stop it.
“I left and went back to my room. I was rooming with Daniel Agger.
“When I heard the key in the door I thought it was Dan coming back but then the lights went on.
“Next thing I saw was a golf club smashing me on my backside.
“I jumped out of bed and was stood in my underwear while Bellamy was there shouting.
“He just said: ‘9am tomorrow outside my room’. I got there for 8.45am and waited until 9.10am but there was no sign on him.
“At breakfast all the boys were laughing and when Bellamy walked in they were clapping.
“Of course I thought about reacting but in the end I just left it.
“Why? I’m not a fighter. Also I was worried if I did react badly it could be the end of my Liverpool career.”
The game they were ‘resting’ for was a last 16 Champions League match against Barcelona which was played on 21 February 2007, the scoreline Barcelona 1 Liverpool 2.
Then two weeks later on 6 March 2007, it was Liverpool 0 Barcelona 1 and Rafa’s team through on away goals.
Liverpool then beat PSV in the quarter-finals, Chelsea in the semis, before losing to AC Milan 2-1 in the final.
A months later, Rafa Benitez kicked Craig Bellamy out, selling him to West Ham for £7m.
As for Bellamy himself, later on in his autobiography he admitted that he had been ‘pathetic’ on that 2007 trip to the Algarve and it was ‘stupidity of the highest level’.
As well as players only drinking water, maybe Rafa Benitez should also lock away the golf clubs…just in case.
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