Rafa Benitez’s relationship with Jose Mourinho hasn’t always been cordial and the former’s wife has now joked that her husband comes to the rescue of clubs to clear up the mess of the latter.
Benitez, who was appointed Real Madrid manager this summer following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti has now followed in the footsteps of Mourinho at three different teams during his career, including Inter Milan and Chelsea.
And speaking to La Region, the Spaniard’s wife, Montserrat Seara, said that it’s just fate that Benitez’s managerial path crosses with Mourinho.
‘We tidy up his messes,’ she light-heartedly said. ‘If you think about it, of course you end up crossing paths. There are only a few world-class clubs out there.’
Benitez has won 14 trophies during his career having managed in England, Spain and Italy – making him a serial winner.
And Seara insists that her husband’s passion for the beautiful game remains as unwavering as ever despite a difficult time at his previous club Napoli.
‘On our first date, Rafa explained to me what a 4-4-2 was. He finds it hard to stay away from the game,’ she said.
‘The year we spent at home he helped coach the local school team. It was hilarious. He stood on the sidelines and shouted at them as if they were first division players, waving his arms about. He doesn’t see football as work, it’s his passion.
‘It was hard to see each other over the winter in Napoli. There were no direct flights and it was complicated. Things will be much easier now in Madrid.’
Benitez is remembered fondly by Liverpool supporters for guiding them to a fifth European Cup a decade ago yet Seara also revealed that the former Anfield boss’ relationship with some fans did turn sour due to his tinkering tactics.
‘Even I don’t know them,’ she said of his tactics. ‘Sometimes I ask him, who’s going to play? He says he doesn’t know yet. They criticised him at Liverpool for constantly tweaking his starting XI. I thought his two best friends in England were going to kill him.’