Rafa Benitez ‘turned down Real Madrid to stay at Liverpool’

Rafa Benitez ‘turned down Real Madrid to stay at Liverpool’


Rafa Benitez turned down the chance to become Real Madrid manager in 2009 opting to stay on as Liverpool boss, Florentino Perez has claimed.

Los Blancos were on the lookout for a new manager that summer after Juande Ramos left the Santiago Bernabeu. And with Benitez having lead the Anfield side to second place in the Premier League as well as plotting the downfall of Los Blancos in the Champions League, he was identified as the man to take over.

But the Madrid-born boss had other plans and stayed with Liverpool instead of being tempted by Perez’ and Madrid’s overtures.

In quotes published by the Liverpool Echo, Perez said: “I thought of him in 2009 and offered him the job. The circumstances did not allow it because he had renewed with Liverpool and could not leave them.”

Benitez was sacked in 2010 after Liverpool only managed 7th place in the league. After spells at Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli, he arrived in the Spanish capital this summer.

And Perez said he’s happy he finally got his man.

“Rafa Benitez is the best for Madrid at this time. He is Spanish, a Madridista. He knows the culture, the values, and is from this house,” the Real supremo added.