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Opinion

Remarkably Rafa Benitez has now managed Newcastle longer than any other (aside from Liverpool)

2 weeks ago
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Monday 11 March was the three year anniversary of Rafa Benitez arriving at St James Park.

Only weeks after leaving Real Madrid, the biggest club in the World.

The Champions League, La Liga (twice), Europa League (twice), FA CUP, Coppa Italia winning manager, approached Newcastle United, offering his services after Steve McClaren had belatedly been sacked.

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The much decorated manager recognising NUFC’s potential, despite Mike Ashley having steered the club towards the rocks of a second relegation in eight Premier League campaigns.

The early signs were positive in the first transfer window, Rafa Benitez allowed over £50m to spend whilst Mike Ashley saw a £40m profit on transfers banked at the same time, a win-win for both manager and owner thanks to the fees banked for Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend, Janmaat and others.

Since then it has been all downhill in terms of relationship between Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez.

Despite being undermined by the club’s owner at every turn, Rafa has refused to be shaken off.

Remarkably, this now means that Newcastle United has become the club Rafa Benitez has been at the longest in his career, aside from Liverpool.

Rafa’s managerial career:

23 games – Real Valladolid (1995-96)

9 games – Osasuna (1996-97)

2 years – Extremadura (1997-99)

1 year – Tenerife (2000-01)

3 years – Valencia (2001-04)

6 years – Liverpool (2004-2010)

6 months – Inter Milan (2010)

6 months – Chelsea (2012-13)

2 years – Napoli (2013-15)

7 months – Real Madrid (2015-16)

3 years and 1 day – Newcastle United (2016 – ????)

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