Clasico loss still hurts Rafa Benitez – Zenden

Clasico loss still hurts Rafa Benitez – Zenden


Boudewijn Zenden says Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez will still be hurting from last month’s 4-0 loss in the Clasico and that feeling will stay for some time.

Real were hammered at home by their fierce rivals and endured the wrath of their fans who jeered and whistled and raised white handkerchiefs – a sign of disapproval in Spain.

Despite losing to Villarreal a couple of weeks ago, Real have generally responded well, winning five on the bounce in the immediate aftermath and recording huge wins over Malmo (8-0) and Rayo Vallecano (10-2). The fans though have remained frosty towards Benitez and once again let their displeasure be known when they trailed to Rayo.

Speaking to Omnisport, Zenden, who played for Barcelona and worked under Benitez at Chelsea, said:”Madrid are driven by results and the defeat to Barca will haunt him for quite some time. It makes it hard for any manager. He has to close the gap to Barcelona. Benitez teams look defensive but how can he be defensive if he’s scored the most goals [in La Liga] this season? He works the players tactically and makes them solid as a unit.”

He also spoke about their time working together at the west London club where Benitez won the Europa League despite being hugely unpopular.

“We won the Europa League and did well in the league. Defeat in the Club World Cup [final, 1-0 to Corinthians] was disappointing. Fixture congestion was a nightmare. He did well despite no-one wanting him there,” he stated.