Benitez to use bigger stage to showcase limitations

New Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez is looking forward to displaying his tactical inflexibility on the biggest stage, Back of the Net can report...

Benitez became Real's 13th manager in 13 years on Wednesday, after agreeing what has optimistically been described as a three-year contract. He joins from Napoli, having taken the Partenopei from being a club languishing in second place to the fringes of Champions League qualification.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Inter boss said: "Napoli was a wonderful experience, and I greatly enjoyed being tactically outmanoeuvred by underfunded journeymen 11 times a season.

"But losing to Chievo isn't the same as losing to Elche. I've had stadiums full of people booing my name, but the thought of 80,000 white hankies being waved just for me gives me goosebumps.

"My immediate focus is to crash out of the Champions League," he added, "But after that, there's the prospect of a faltering title challenge, a futile tilt at the Europa League and maybe a fluky Copa del Rey victory to make up for finishing sixth - if I'm still here by then, of course. I can't wait to get started."

Benitez also said that he is particularly looking forward to undermining his star players, getting into juvenile spats with fellow managers, and publicly falling out with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Perez commented: "Rafa is overconfident, divisive and his best days are probably behind him. He is the perfect fit for this club. I look forward to bonding with him over our mutual love of bridge-burning."

When asked if he had any advice for his new coach, Perez added that he should look to rent rather than buy.