Rafa Benítez’s rants over the years – from the Mestalla to Middlesbrough
Furniture fury at Valencia; waving the flag for inter-club harmony at Liverpool; and lies, damned lies at Internazionale
Cryptic, sometimes scripted and occasionally witheringly direct, Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benítez has studded his career with a series of outbursts.
May 2004: vexed in Valencia
With two La Liga titles under his belt, Benítez had established himself as one of the most coveted coaches in Europe, but his time at the Mestalla ended sourly when he criticised the club's transfer policy. He wanted the striker Samuel Eto'o, but was given a winger in Fabián Canobbio. "I was hoping for a sofa and they've brought me a lamp."
May 2007: a man of principle
"I would never take [the Chelsea] job, in respect for Liverpool. We don't need to give away flags for our fans to wave – our supporters are always there with their hearts. It's the passion of the fans that helps to win matches – not flags."
January 2009: facts of the matter
Benítez reacted to a journalist querying Liverpool's nerve as the Premier League title race heated up by unfolding a piece of paper and announcing: "I want to talk about facts. During the Respect campaign – and this is a fact – [Sir Alex] Ferguson was charged by the FA for improper conduct after comments made about Martin Atkinson and Keith Hackett. He was not punished. He is the only manager in the league that cannot be punished for these things. If he wants to talk about fixtures, there are two options. One is the same as in Spain, the draw for the first part of the league is known. In the second half everyone plays the opposite. Or there is another option. That Mr Ferguson organises the fixtures in his office and sends it to us and everyone will know and cannot complain."
May 2009: upsetting the neighbours
"When you play against the smaller teams at Anfield, you know the game will be narrow," said Benítez, after a 0-0 draw with Everton. Perhaps underestimating the sensitivity of Liverpool's local rivals, he added: "One team was trying to win and the other team was trying not to lose. I have never played like that, and never did this at Valencia, maybe at [Spanish minnows] Extremadura."
November 2010: looking back in anger
By now Internazionale manager, Benítez bridled at criticism from Roy Hodgson, who had taken over at Liverpool and criticised the Spaniard's transfer dealings. "I think that Mr Hodgson, he doesn't understand. He is talking about things that he does not understand. Every single press conference is even worse than the last one. And some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar"
January 2013: pants on fire
Marco Materazzi claimed working under Benítez at Inter was like "being back at school" and that he had insisted on photographs of his predecessor José Mourinho being taken down. "He's lying," Benítez said. "Materazzi is lying. He's lying, just lying. Everything that he said is a lie. Simple. When he was talking [about] Mourinho, it's a lie. About the pictures, it's a lie. So he's a liar"
Filed under: Euro 2012
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