Rafa Benitez is likely all set to swap Napoli for Madrid after announcing his decision to call time on a two-year stint in Serie A at a press conference on Thursday. He is supposed to take charge of the final Napoli game on Sunday (31/5), but decided to leave his club with the parting gift of Champions League football with victory over Lazio.
Ancelotti’s sacking was met with questions but it was not met by surprise. Among all the greatest legends of the club, he made Real Madrid survived a season without winning a trophy. However, Madrid fans had good reason to vent their anger at the sacking of the manager.
More or less Ancelotti was the one who brought the club’s much sought-after 10th European Cup. However, their anger has only been intensified by news of his probable successor. In a club that bases itself on signing “Galacticos,” Madrid are set to appoint a coach who does not have any experience at European football’s top table.
Madrid had won the Club World Cup on account of 22 consecutive wins between September and December to add to the Copa del Rey and UEFA Super Cup in a record four-trophy victory in 2014. But they were beaten to the Spanish league title by a treble-seeking Barcelona and eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey.
Ancelotti’s last chance of keeping his job was ended when one of his former clubs, Juventus, knocked Real out of the Champions League earlier this month to progress to the final. That was too much for the club’s management, despite Ancelotti’s popularity with fans and players.
Spanish sports newspaper Marca, had “only if there is nobody better” ran the front page of its edition earlier this month. The report noted that a lack of standout candidates to succeed Ancelotti could allow the coach to see out the final year in his three-year deal.
Had JurgenKlopp been the man to come in the reaction might well have been different. Borussia Dortmund’s charismatic coach would have been a name to excite the fans.
If hired, Benitez is set to be an underwhelming appointment, and fans should take the club’s decision by clinging to some few positives about the former Napoli coach. Benitez is Madrid born and a former player and coach of the second team, he knows the club inside out.
By those things, at least things like language issues will not be happened again. Benitez’s high-point is Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League success, a competition Ancelotti has won three times and twice more as a player.