We all know by now that Rafa Benitez is going to be managing a different club next season. His contract with Napoli is up and so many bridges have been burned there's really no way he can come back next season. It's really just a matter of learning which club it's going to be at this point. There's been some interesting rumors of late, mostly involving English club West Ham, but one rumor that was popped up and immediately dismissed by most came roaring back in a big way: Real Madrid want to bring in Rafa Benitez.
Madrid are going to be trophy-less this season, having lost their shot at winning La Liga last weekend, getting knocked out of the Copa del Rey early, and losing their Champions League semifinal to Juventus. So even though Real just won La Decima, their tenth Champions League title, last season and will have finished in the top three in La Liga twice in the two years Carlo Ancelotti has managed there, the best Italian manager currently in the game is set to be fired at the end of the season.
Because that makes sense.
Want to know what makes even less sense? They're apparently negotiating with Rafa Benitez to be his replacement.
Go ahead. Laugh it out. We'll wait.
Done yet? No. That's fine, it took us awhile to stop laughing too. There we go. Better? Good.
Yes, Rafa has old ties to Real Madrid, having come up through the Castilla as a young player, and managing Real Madrid B at the start of his coaching career. Yes, his coaching pedigree is impressive, having won La Liga twice, the Champions League, a UEFA Cup (now the Europa League), an FA Cup, and the Coppa Italia among other trophies. All those things are things that Madrid and their very demanding fanbase like, so on that front it makes sense.
But oh man is this a bad decision if Real Madrid pull the trigger and sign him.
You think his overly-strict rotation policy, poor personnel decisions, predictable tactics, mystifying sub choices, random loss of favor with in-form or important players, and lack of match preparation drives Napoli fans nuts? Take that aggravation and increase it by a factor of 100 and you might be close to what Madrid fans will likely be experiencing by December if Benitez is hired, assuming he even lasts that long before getting canned for failing to live up to expectations.
Seriously, Madrid, hiring Rafa can only end one way for you: badly.
But go ahead and do it if you want. Could you maybe give Carlo our number as you send him out the door, though? It'd be neat to have him in Naples.