Rafael Benitez backs Italian teams to reach world domination
There was a time when Italian football teams used to dominate the world, but that era is only a chapter from history now. Napoli manager Rafael Benitez claims that the overall standard of football in Italy has taken a severe drop in the last couple of season. However, Benitez insists that Serie A is heading towards rejuvenation.
Benitez maintains expectations over a bright future with Italy. The former Liverpool manager believes Italian teams are slowly rising back to their glorious days. Italian football powerhouses AC Milan, Inter Milan, Roma, Juventus and Napoli are showing signs of breaking into the upper echelons of football.
“It has improved… it is true that the level had dropped,” Benitez said. “There are now teams who play well, Roma, ourselves… There is more and more possession of the ball, but it remains a pretty difficult league on a tactical level. [Carlos] Tevez, Mario Gomez, [Fernando] Llorente and Higuain have all arrived. That makes the level climb a lot.”
Benitez, who managed Real Madrid’s B team, also commented on Real Madrid president Florentino Perez’s decision to sell Gonzalo Higuain. The 2005 Champions League winning manager claims Real Madrid shocked him when they put the coveted Argentinean hit-man in the market.
“I am not getting into whether it was the correct decision or not,” Benitez said. “He was our objective, we went for him and that is that. It is up to them to judge [their own decision].”
Benitez also refused to judge Carlo Ancelotti’s future at Real Madrid following his tough start to the season. Benitez revealed that he knew Ancelotti well and understood the problems he was facing at Real Madrid. Benitez also backed the Italian boss for success at Real Madrid.
“I know [Ancelotti] well,” Benitez said. “I met him in Italy playing against Milan on more than one occasion in the Champions League. He is a good person and a great coach. I have not seen much [of Madrid this season]. But logically it takes a while for new players get used to a new coach.”
The 53-year-old manager was coy on whether he would replace Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque in the future.
“Del Bosque is doing great work,” Benitez said. “I have said that I would not mind [getting the job], but in the long-term. Down the road it could be considered, not in the short-term, because Vicente is there and he is doing phenomenally well.”