On air now

1 AM-5 AM

Advertisement

Sport

Rafa Benitez: "I understand what makes Everton so special"

Rafa Benitez is Everton's new manager.  A prospect barely conceivable over a decade ago has come to...


Rafa Benitez:

Sport

Rafa Benitez: "I understand what makes Everton so special"


Rafa Benitez is Everton's new manager. 

A prospect barely conceivable over a decade ago has come to pass, with the former Liverpool boss signing a three-year contract at Goodison Park.

Benitez replaces Carlo Ancelotti, who left for Real Madrid at the end of last season.

The prospect of the 61-year old's appointment hadn't filled Evertonians with glee. In fact, Merseyside Police confirmed this week they were investigating a threatening banner left outside Benitez's Wirral home.

But Benitez seems undaunted by the reluctance of some fans to welcome him to the club.

He told Everton's website, "It is a privilege to have been given the opportunity to manage Everton.

"Having called Merseyside my home for the last 17 years, I have a very clear understanding of what makes this club so special.

"This club is always striving to be the best. Simply competing in the top league is not enough.

"That ambition and determination to succeed is something I share. I never want to just compete - at every club I have managed I have fought to win. My focus is always on one thing - fighting for the team I am managing. And I will do that for Everton.

"The hard work starts now. It is a challenge I am relishing."

Earlier this year, Benitez quit his role as head coach of Chinese Super League side Dalian Professional, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as his reason for leaving.

According to Everton, long-term assistant Duncan Ferguson will remain on their coaching staff for now, as will ex-Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Alan Kelly.

Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri said, "Rafa impressed us greatly with his knowledge and experience but, above all, the passion and hunger he showed to join our Club.

“We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our Club and to Evertonians.

"To put it simply - we need to be competing at the top-end of the league and to be winning trophies. Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us.”

Benitez had come under fire from Everton supporters for a throwaway line after a 2007 Merseyside derby when he grouped them with "small clubs".

Explaining his comments after his appointment, he said, "I have been in Madrid, Naples, Valencia, Tenerife, Extremadura and Liverpool.

“Every single club I was there, I was fighting for them. If you analyse things in the context, what you are expecting from your manager is to fight for your club, and I will do that.

“I am here, I will fight for my club, I will try to win every single game, and it doesn’t matter who the opponents are, or the rivals. It is something you have to do, it is your nature, that you have to try to do your best.

“And why a lot of fans in a lot of these cities love me is because I was giving everything for them. If you analyse this in the context, then it is very clear I will do the same for Everton.”

‘Real pressure starts now for Southgate’ | OTB predicts England’s EURO 2020 hopes



Read more about

Everton Farhad Moshiri Liverpool Rafa Benitez

You might like

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Overnight

Overnight

1 AM-5 AM

Share

Up next

Early Breakfast

Early Breakfast

5 AM-7 AM

Share

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

7 AM-9 AM

Share

Dermot & Dave

Dermot & Dave

9 AM-12 PM

Share

Mairead Ronan

Mairead Ronan

12 PM-2 PM

Share

Fergal D'Arcy

Fergal D'Arcy

2 PM-4:30 PM

Share

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

4:30 PM-7 PM

Share

Pamela Joyce

Pamela Joyce

7 PM-10 PM

Share

Ed Smith

Ed Smith

10 PM-12 AM

Share

Overnight

Overnight

12 AM-5 AM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on