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Real Madrid

Rafa Benitez's six Real Madrid actions items

ESPN FC analyst Stewart Robson says Rafa Benitez's appointment as Real Madrid coach will not guide them out of their slump.

Rafa Benitez had to hold back the tears when he was presented as successor to Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid coach on a three-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The former Napoli, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Liverpool and Valencia coach has been sold as a "homegrown" coach by the club as a means to get fans who were upset at last week's sacking of Ancelotti back on side. "He is one of ours, declared demanding president Florentino Perez. "Dear Rafa, welcome home."

That sentiment will...

Rafa Benitez faces a big challenge as Real Madrid's new manager

ESPN FC analyst Stewart Robson says Rafa Benitez's appointment as Real Madrid coach will not guide them out of their slump.

In many ways, it would be easier to assess Rafa Benitez's prospects at Real Madrid if the last two years at Napoli had never happened. When you get a set of data that is so radically different from the rest of your available information, you need to weigh whether it's indicative of real change or whether it's just "noise," an error in measurement.

Benitez takes over at the Bernabeu after two seasons that were unlike any other in his career, not so much in terms of results, but in terms of how...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Rafa Benitez's bravery will serve him well at Real Madrid

ESPN FC analyst Stewart Robson says Rafa Benitez's appointment as Real Madrid coach will not guide them out of their slump.
The ESPN FC panel react to reports that Rafael Benitez will be named Real Madrid manager, where Sergio Ramos appears to questions the club's choice to oust Carlo Ancelotti.

Single-mindedness makes the football manager. Very few of the very best are given to democracy. Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, the English season's success stories, are both enjoying the fruits of tunnel vision. In Spain, Luis Enrique stuck to his guns amid a hail of back-biting, and Barcelona are now on the verge of a Treble.

Rafa Benitez, though, is a man apart from his peers. The aforementioned are at places where they enjoy significant hinterlands: Mourinho and Wenger as their clubs' most...

 By Rob Train

Benitez is likely Real Madrid's new manager - here's his pros and cons

The ESPN FC panel react to reports that Rafael Benitez will be named Real Madrid manager, where Sergio Ramos appears to questions the club's choice to oust Carlo Ancelotti.
 

Barring a completely unexpected U-turn, Rafa Benitez will be presented as the new coach of Real Madrid on Wednesday, replacing the recently-sacked Carlo Ancelotti.

The Santiago Bernabeu club's pursuit of the former Napoli manager, who left his post after the final game of the Serie A season on Sunday, has been an open secret for some weeks but is it the right decision?

As with any managerial appointment, it could go either way and much will depend on his relationship with the players, the...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

ESPN FC May Player of the Month -- Messi, Ronaldo or Kostic?

The ESPN FC panel respond to your tweets on Arsenal's potential transfers this summer and Lionel Messi's Copa del Rey final performance.

As the calendar turns to June, the bulk of clubs from Europe's big five leagues have adjourned for the season. One club still in action, though, is Barcelona, who will meet Juventus on Saturday in the Champions League final. Aside from being the biggest fixture of the club football season, Saturday also provides the world with one final look at Lionel Messi this campaign.

While the Argentine has racked up three of the past four ESPN FC Player of the Month awards, he has thrown on the afterburners...

Rafa Benitez will face plenty of challenges at Real Madrid if hired

A disappointing season for Real Madrid by their lofty standards, having failed to win La Liga or the Champions League and the campaign ending with the sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Rafa Benitez is expected to become Real Madrid's next manager and has a career winning percentage of 50.88.

To say Florentino Perez's decision to sack Carlo Ancelotti on Monday was an unpopular one among Real Madrid fans is putting it lightly. The Madrid president has made plenty of questionable calls over his two stints at the Bernabeu helm but he could be set to make his most controversial one yet when he names the Italian's successor next week.

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...