A former player and one of the most respected managers in the game of football, Rafa Benitez is Champions League manager that sets the highest standards of his team. The former manager of Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and Real Madrid, Benitez has managed some of the biggest players and personalities in the game. The current manager of Newcastle United, Rafa is a master practitioner and technician.
Praised for his tactical acumen and calm demeanour, Benitez's tactical changes have often gained praise and reward none more so then the unforgettable 2005 Champions League final. The only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup, it is no surprise Rafa Benitez is an incredibly popular and sought after football speaker who appears at events and functions across the UK.
In his playing days, Rafa Benitez played as a defender for almost a decade namely at Parla before ultimately turning to his passion and area of expertise, management. Receiving an opportunity to learn his trade at arguably Europe's most prestigious club, Real Madrid. Benítez the Los Blancos coaching staff at the age of 26, going on to work as the under-19 and reserve team coach before eventually becoming the assistant manager for the senior team. Experiencing excellence at the first stages of his managerial career, during his work as a football speaker Benítez shares the key learnings from his time at the club and discusses leadership and management.
Moving away from Real Madrid in 1995, Rafa went on to lead Real Valladolid and Osasuna were his stints were short-lived and unsuccessful. Benítez showed drive and determination however as he guided Segunda División side Extremadura back to the Primera División in his first season in 1997. Rafa Benitez then left the club and coached Tenerife in 2000, winning promotion in his only season before the football speaker went on to flourish in the world of football management.
In arguably the first big managerial role at a club, Benítez was appointed coach of Valencia and did not disappoint as his team saw off Barcelona and Real Madrid to win La Liga in the 2001-02 season. The charismatic leader saw more success in 2004 as he led the team to yet another La Liga title in addition to a UEFA Cup victory. These success and accolades stood Rafa in good stead along with him receiving praise and adulation from the footballing world. The expert strategist is both clinical and proficient providing the highest levels of expertise and knowledge that he also shares while working as a football speaker.
After leaving Valencia, Benitez moved to English club Liverpool for what would be his most well-known and prolific managerial spell. In his first appointment in the Premier League, Rafa Benitez unforgettably guided the club to victory in the UEFA Champions League in 2005. A historic and legendary achievement for the club and its fans, Benitez shares the tales and anecdotes from this wonderful accolade during his work as a football speaker.
Named the UEFA Manager of the Year for the second consecutive year, a testament to his performances, Benitez also won the FA Cup in 2006 and reached the 2007 Champions League Final, but was agonisingly unable to win the Premier League, with Liverpool's best league performance under Benítez a second-place finish in 2008-09. A Liverpool FC legend, Rafa Benitez discusses key managerial and leadership lessons while sharing man management and strategic teachings that apply to all walks of life allowing him to resonate with a wide ranging audience.
After leaving Liverpool FC, Benítez was appointed manager of treble winning side Inter Milan. His reign at the club was a short one as he was astoundingly let go midway through the 2010-11 season despite guiding the team to the Supercoppa Italiana and FIFA Club World Cup titles. In November 2012, Benítez was appointed interim manager of Chelsea FC for the remainder of the season and he won the 2013 Europa League. Returning to Italy in 2013 to coach Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. Becoming the coach of Real Madrid before a role he remains it as coach of Newcastle United, a team he led to the Championship title, Benitez has shown he is able to thrive in all situations around the world.
A born winner and leader, Benítez has a host of entertaining and captivating tales and anecdotes to share with guests while sharing knowledge and expertise from the world of management and leadership, an area he excels in. A world renowned manager who has the utmost respect of players, managers and fans around the world, Rafa Benitez is available to hire as a football speaker for any event, dinner or function across the UK where he is certain to be a fantastic addition to any occasion.