Former Valencia, Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has said his early years as a coach at Real Madrid have played a huge role in his success as a manager.
The 53-year-old, who has won La Liga, the Champions League, and the Europa League among a host of other trophies, was a coach at Los Blancos under Vicente del Bosque.
In an interview with Madrid-based daily, AS, he said the formative years as a coach at the Bernabeu had taught him a great deal, and particularly how to always be respectful towards an opponent.
He stated: “I grew up at Real Madrid and the club taught me everything I know about football. I played there as a youngster and then returned to the club to learn the trade as a coach alongside Vicente del Bosque.
“I received my sporting education at Madrid. They taught me to always respect your opponent regardless of whether you won or lost.”
Benitez, currently in charge of Italian side Napoli, is likely to be in contact again with the Madrid hierarchy this summer as the two teams negotiate the possible transfer of striker Edison Cavani to the Spanish capital.