61-year-old Spaniard Rafael Benítez has an enviable managerial resume and now he’s one of the highest-paid top bosses in football.
Currently at the helm of Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional, Benitez’s European journey that led him, there was a long and successful one, but it was also a journey with a few bumps in the road.
Rafael Benítez career journey
- Real Valladolid
- Real Madrid
- Dalian Professional
- LaLiga with Valencia in 2002 & 2004
- UEFA Cup with Valencia in 2003
- Champions League with Liverpool in 2005
- FA Cup with Liverpool in 2006
- Supercoppa Italiana with Inter in 2010
- FIFA Club World Cup with Inter in 2010
- Coppa Italia with Napoli in 2013
- EFL Championship with Newcastle in 2017
Benitez’s greatest achievement in his managerial career was undoubtedly the 2005 Champions League win. Liverpool infamously trailed 3-0 at halftime but produced a staggering fightback to beat AC Milan on penalties.
Another turnaround followed in 2006 in the “Stevie G” FA Cup final win against West Ham. Of 21 Spanish top-flight titles handed out since the turn of the millennium, Barcelona and Real Madrid have shared 17 of them. Deportivo La Coruña were champions of Spain in 2000, Rafael Benitez’s Valencia side famously won LaLiga crowns in 2002 and 2004, and Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid charges won the title in 2014. He tasted European success with Valencia too, lifting the UEFA Cup in 2003.
One of the most underrated tacticians of his time.