24 May 19
The Scottish Sun
RAFA BENITEZ is one of the leading contenders with the bookies to land the Celtic job this summer.
The Spaniard is currently locked in talks with current club Newcastle over an extended deal at St James’ Park.
Rafa is locked in talks over his Newcastle future
Speculation has been rife about the 59-year-old’s future on Tyneside as contract negotiations continue to rumble on.
Amid the speculation over a switch to Parkhead this summer, SunSport Online has analysed the highs and lows of his managerial career.
Matches: 157, Wins: 87, Draws: 38, Losses: 32
Trophies: La Liga x2, UEFA Cup
Rafa landed a move to Valencia after a successful year at Spanish second division side CD Tenerife.
The Spaniard lead his men to promotion to the top flight after a third place finish alongside Sevilla and Real Betis.
His success continued as he landed the La Liga title on two occasions.
The first time was in 01/02 before he landed a league and UEFA Cup double in 2003/04.
His success at Los Ches earned him a move to England with Liverpool.
Matches: 350, Wins: 197, Draws: 74, Losses: 79
Trophies: Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup, Charity Shield
Following his successful stint in Spain, Rafa moved to England to try his luck with Liverpool and his winning touch continued.
Benitez with Steven Gerrard after stunning Champions League triumph
A Champions League win in 2004/05 was quickly followed up with the UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup and Charity Shield.
His win over AC Milan is arguably the best football comeback of all time as the Reds overturned a 3-0 half-time deficit to beat the Italians on penalties.
His early promise was unfortunately not followed up and in 2010 the Spaniard left Anfield.
Matches: 25, Wins: 12, Draws: 6, Losses: 7
Trophies: Italian Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
Benitez’s next stop in his managerial career was with Serie A and Champions League title-holders Inter.
Jose Mourinho had recently departed the club for Real Madrid after his glory season at the Italian giants.
Despite winning the Italian Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, things started to go down hill.
After only taking on the role in June, Benitez was axed in the December of the same year.
‘FANTASTIC BACKING’ What Rafa Benitez had to say about Celtic’s European potential on his last Parkhead visit
Matches: 48, Wins: 28, Draws: 10, Losses: 10
Trophies: Europa League
Rafa landed the Chelsea job on an interim basis in November 2012 following the dismissal of Champions League winning boss Roberto Di Matteo.
The appointment of the Spaniard was unpopular with fans due to his association with Liverpool.
Benitez lifts the UEFA Cup after winning trophy with Chelsea
Benitez would only stay for the season but he guided Chelsea to a top four finish and with it a place in the Champions League.
He also lifted silverware in his time at Stamford Bridge after defeating Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League Final.
Matches: 112, Wins: 61, Draws: 26, Losses: 25
Trophies: Italian Cup, Italian Super Cup
Following his stint at Stamford Bridge, Rafa’s next job was back in Italy with Napoli.
In his first season, Benitez guided the club to a Coppa Italia success after victory over Fiorentina.
A third place in Serie A saw them qualify for the Champions League but they lost out to Athletic Bilbao in the qualifying stages.
The Spaniard left Naples after two seasons.
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Matches: 25, Wins: 17, Draws: 5, Losses: 3
Real Madrid were next to come calling for the services of Benitez but his stint at the Bernabeu was one to forget.
His time was up at Real Madrid pretty quickly
A 4-0 thumping by Barcelona was followed by a controversial Copa Del Rey exit after Real fielded an ineligible player.
Los Blancos had safely navigated through their Champions League group but Rafa was dismissed at the turn of the year.
Matches: 146, Wins: 62, Draws: 30, Losses: 54
Rafa’s football journey saw him return to England at the tale end of 2016 with Newcastle but he was unable to save them from the drop.
The Spaniard remained in charge of the club and guided them to an immediate return to the EPL after winning the English Championship.
The 59-year-old is a hugely popular figure with the Toon Army and fans are desperate to see him stay. But he’s out of contract this summer and talks are ongoing over a new deal at St James’ Park.
With negotiations still to be concluded, Benitez has found himself linked with clubs all over Europe including Celtic.
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