Rafa Benítez Blog RSS Rafa Benítez Blog

18
Nov 2020
13:52 Comments (3)
5 subs, no thanks

From China

Rafa Benítez

I’ve had some time to reflect on this strange season and first of all, I would like to praise the hard work of my staff and everybody involved in the daily work of our football team.

Five is too many for me, though not as many as twenty-five, that’s a good number (at least it seems to me to be a good number) and it’s the number of COVID tests that I have done throughout my time in China, the latest being before coming back to UK to see my family again.
10
Oct 2020
20:21 Comments (7)
There are still difficult times ahead

From China

Rafa Benítez

Unfortunately, this title has been applicable for the past few months and it seems that it could be this way for a lot longer.

In a few days, we'll confine ourselves to the hotel/training ground complex to play the second phase of the Chinese league in its new format. Yesterday I had a meal and work meeting with the president of the Club, on Monday we have a couple of meetings to structure the football basics for the season facing us next year and at the same time, we have to analyse the changes that we should make in the First Team for next season. Whilst valuing the investment in the new medical department for all our young footballers, we are also happy to welcome Jailson, our new foreign player who's just finished his quarantine and arrived to help us in the second phase of the current league. That word, quarantine, has become the key to making decisions, we could not think of more signings because the quarantine time, and its consequences on the physical condition of the players, would make it impossible for them to arrive in time to make a difference in this phase.
19
Aug 2020
14:34 Comments (3)
The relativity of all things

From China

Rafa Benítez

Albert Einstein once said, "in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity".

When we made the decision to come to China, we knew there'd be some challenges. Yet the current world situation, with COVID-19 and the resulting special rules set for Chinese football have led to us discovering extra unexpected difficulties, which are hard to understand if you're not living here day to day. We want to view this experience as an opportunity, as a time to learn and improve.
11
May 2020
15:01 Comments (26)
Difficult times

From China

Rafa Benítez

These are difficult times for everyone: personally, in health, work, in the economy, and in society in general. Also, in our much-loved football, which is my world and has also been gravely affected...
18
Dec 2019
14:13 Comments (1)
Christmas and FIFA Club World Cup Experience

From China

Rafa Benítez

 It is a strange and at the same time nice feeling to be at home during the Christmas period. It will be the first time in a few years I can stay with my family in UK during this period without driving late in the night or early in the morning for a game.


09
Oct 2019
20:10 Comments (0)
Great EPL day and work in progress in Dalian

From China

Rafa Benítez

 It seems a long time ago that we arrived in China, but we have been here just three months. In three months, with international breaks in between, we are learning and adapting to the Chinese football and culture and at the same time, trying to implement the European idea of football, a methodology to use from the lower teams up to the First Team.
As a part of this project, we have brought 10 Spanish coaches for working with the schoolboys, from 6 to 10 years old.
04
Aug 2019
23:03 Comments (0)
Differences and Similarities

From China

Rafa Benítez

  As I said in my first of these blog posts after seven days in China, in general everything here is a great experience because the culture and traditions are so different to what I’m accustomed to. But, I am starting to see some similarities with certain aspects of life and the way of doing things in Europe.

There are a couple of things which clearly remind me of Newcastle. The first is the hotel we’re staying in, ‘The Castle’, which reminds me daily of the good times I had in Newcastle and of the ongoing kindness and positivity I received there from the fans...
11
Jul 2019
09:56 Comments (0)
My first seven days - what an experience!

From China

Rafa Benítez

We've hardly been in China for a week and I have seen and experienced so much for the first time, it could easily have already been a month. My coaching team and I have visited so many countries in the past and we've worked for years in Spain, Italy and England. But this experience is like no other...