New Real Madrid coach, Rafa Benitez, couldn’t contain his emotions as he was unveiled as the club’s manager.
The 55-year-old was unveiled earlier today, having agreed a three-year contract following his exit from Napoli.
But few would have expected the Spaniard to shed a tear at the presentation and that’s exactly what happened when the former Liverpool coach was appointed to replace Carlo Ancelotti.
“This is the hard part, having to speak but not really knowing what to say,” he said.
“Madrid is my home. It’s emotional to be back. I hope it goes well, that the team plays quality football and wins trophies. The only thing that counts at this club is to be first.
“To finish second isn’t good enough. We have to try and win everything up for grabs. Here we have to try and win every game. We have the squad to do it. This is definitely the best squad [he’s had at his disposal]. I’m going to work with so many quality footballers.
“I’ve won titles thanks to my system of work; it’s the main reason why I’m here. You have to adapt to different teams and different players, but you have try to maintain your discipline and score goals.”
Benitez also spoke about how he will manage the egos in the Real dressing room.
“I’ve worked with so many teams, so many dressing rooms. I like to exchange ideas because we all want to win,” he said.
“If a footballer doesn’t agree then you try and have a chat to work things out. Here there are lots of stars, I’m sure if we all row in the same direction, we will have success.
“This is a league I know, a club I know, yes it’s demanding here. I’m going to try and call on my experience from other clubs and if we get most things right, with the quality we have in this squad, I’m sure we’re going to go far.”
Real president, Florentino Perez, is sure about that too.
“The requirement at Real Madrid is always high and our new coach makes us stronger in our objectives, which are the dreams of the Madrid fans,” Perez said.
“Rafa breathes football and Real Madrid. He offers hard work and passion for this sport.
“He is a coach for whom the method makes the basis of his work. He is known for his brilliant preparation for matches and his great track record.”
Benitez made over 200 appearances for Real Madrid’s reserve team as a player, before taking charge of them for two seasons early in his managerial career.
He left Real in 1995 to handle several modest teams in Spain as he cut his teeth in the trade.
Benitez made his name with Valencia, whom he led to two La Liga titles before leaving for Liverpool, where he won the FA Cup and the Champions League.