Credit is a critical factor in life. So much so, it is a type of life insurance for many. In life, as in football, one earns credit through performance and achievement. This might easily be applied to a work environment, where an employee might have earned a certain level of seniority by doing something remarkable at some point during the career. This remarkable feat might be a past deal that defined and secured the future of a company, or something similar. In other words, people generally do not only look at someone’s current value, but also take the credentials of the concerned person into account. These then help the concerned to prolong a career that might have been short-lived.
In this context, it is fairly easy to point out Rafael Benitez’ achievements. The most significant ones came in 2002 and 2004 respectively, when he led Valencia to La Liga titles in Spain. Given the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona at the time, this was a truly unique and remarkable chapter in the life of Benitez. Following his success with Valencia, the Spaniard left the club for Liverpool and arguably trumped his time in Spain by winning the Champions League with a side that looked beaten at half time. Three years, and the credit was earned, Benitez’ stock was on the rise.
As success never seems to last, unless you are Sir Alex Ferguson, the lows of Benitez’ managing career were looming large. He never won a league title again and even managed to turn Mourinho’s Inter into a collection of losers, as harsh as that may sound. Stints at Chelsea and Napoli followed and the Spaniard managed to make each of the sides worse than they were before. Essentially, he will not be remembered fondly at Inter, Chelsea or Napoli for that matter. At Valencia and Liverpool on the other hand, his credentials are there for everyone to see.
Nevertheless, Rafa does not come across as a manager who should be in charge of a genuinely big club. In fact, the most obvious danger for anyone who would employ the Spaniard is an increased success of competitors. It now seems as though, Real Madrid, to the surprise of many, have decided to replace the parting Carlo Ancelotti with Rafa Benitez, who has failed to deliver Champions League football to the Napoli faithful; another addition to a list of failures. In many ways, replacing Ancelotti with Benitez is like picking a G-Shock over a Rolex watch.
Strangely, Rafa Benitez seems to be joining a fellow expert in failure in Florentino Perez, under whose presidency Real Madrid have won three La Liga titles and a Champions League; all that in 12 years. One can look at Real Madrid’s last 15 years in many ways but it seems as though, Perez in particular, has managed to drive the club away from success. The president has certainly not gone with the times and seems to think that marketing and financial success are at the top of the agenda. His poor decision-making was more than evident when he made Gareth Bale the most expensive player in the history of football. Although, Bale is a great player, he is most definitely not worth a record fee.
With the appointment of Benitez, Perez continues his peculiar reign and further contributes to the demise of Real Madrid. The above may certainly be regarded as incredibly dramatic. Nevertheless, there seems to be no urgent need to renovate Real’s trophy cabinet for the purpose of housing more trophies, not with Perez and certainly not with Benitez. In the meantime, Barcelona’s management will be celebrating and Carlo Ancelotti will leave the Spanish capital and eventually start another venture of his own. For all we know, he might turn Milan into a European giant yet again.