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Rafa Benitez says he won't manage Spanish national team ... yet

Napoli's manager has been linked with the Spanish bench with the national job expected by some to be available after Euro 2016, but Rafa says that now is not the time.

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

The other side of the "Rafa Benitez is probably leaving Napoli" coin is that Napoli don't just need to find a new manager, Rafa Benitez needs to find a new job. A coach with his resume shouldn't have too much problem with that, but in the meantime the media are going to speculate to their hearts' content.

One popular bit of speculation has been to link Rafa to the national team job in his native Spain. He's spoken in the past about wanting to manage his country's national team in the past, and with Vicente del Bosque's job security not seeming terribly absolute at the moment, it seems likely that the job will be open after Euro 2016, if not even potentially some time before the tournament. Many feel that Rafa's managerial style would be well-suited for the international game, so two plus two equals four, right?

Not so fast, says Rafa.

In a TV interview Saturday morning, Benitez was asked about whether he'd prefer managing with Spain or with Real Madrid, where Rafa started both his playing and coaching careers with their B team and where Carlo Ancelotti may not be entirely secure in his job himself.

"I spent many years at Real Madrid," Rafa told his interviewer, "but the national team is an option only for the end of my career."

Rafa turns 55 in just over two weeks from now, so it seems as though the end of his career is still some ways off. Even waiting a year for the end of Euro 2016 wouldn't really be an option under that self-imposed restriction, and it's likely that it wouldn't be until some time before the 2022 World Cup at the absolute earliest before Rafa considers making that move.