Rafa BenÝtez in TG1-RAI


"Since my arrival to Napoli, everyone calls me Rafè. It started on my website where Neapolitans that were posting in the forum started calling me this way. My real name is clear, it is Rafa but if they prefer Rafè because it's easier - it's the same, I like this".

"This city, Naples, only speaks of football. There are more social issue's than sports but football can demonstrate that there also good things you can do in this city. Naples is a very nice city and there are many beautiful sites. I've been through the airport of Liverpool numerous times and I found many British tourists returning from Naples saying to me: "you have to see this site, you have to see that etc". There are many things to see in this city. The Neapolitans do everything with passion, both in soccer and in everything else".

"Training here for me is a very interesting challenge, after speaking with the President and Riccardo Bigon in this project, seeing the fans and their passion - they made me understand that this team can be important in Europe. I always speak with fans and what they say to me is an incentive to make the things even better. This team has everything they need to win. De Laurentiis and Bigon know very well how to do their roles and together we can send a message loud and clear, both in Italy and in Europe".

"Nowadays it is very difficult to find people who respect the work of others. For me is always important both respect and educate, that is the way that was always taught to me. You can win in many ways, but for me these two things are the key to everything. However, I always want to win and sometimes I feel angry if we don´t do what we have learned and practiced during workouts. To win it is necessary to get angry if a match is lost. One thing is respect and education and another is to be competitive".

"I have always trained players from a young age, from my early days on the bench of Real Madrid. You always have to know when they need your help and talk to them with respect and to educate. The key is respect for others. If a footballer has tattoos or unique styling, this is not the important thing. What matters is how he behaves as a person".

"Garcia is a coach who is very clever and always prepared. Both he and I have studied much the rest of the coaches. I already played against him once when I was coaching at Liverpool and it has always been very difficult to deal with his teams. Rome has found the balance thanks to him and in addition have left with the win: they had been able to take advantage of working all week. We can't because we had two matches in seven days".

"We are not afraid of anyone. If we do what we do we can always win. With all respect because Roma are a good team that is doing very well. They have great quality up front with Totti, are strong in defence and in midfield -they play very well. We know that it is a difficult team to beat, but as we always say: have respect everyone but fear of no one".

"Juventus is a very strong team but see Roma and Napoli as the Serie A leaders and thus very important for the Italian Championship, it's always good for football. But we must not forget that there are also Inter, Fiorentina and Milan - very dangerous teams. Roma and Napoli have foreign coaches and the fact that they are currently league leaders is pure coincidence, it is because they are two good teams. Roma have found their balance and we as I always say, continue to work because we can always be improved. We are now at 75%. To motivate my players, I usually use videos of matches in which we have performed well. In Dimaro we worked very well during the pre-season,and we have been reviewing videos of the friendly games against Arsenal, Porto and Galatasaray".

"I like my work and obviously I always want to do it as best as possible. The most important thing is for my team is to find the balance and is what I always try to achieve. My relationship with De Laurentiis is very good. He is a man with much enthusiasm and many ideas. He is very easy to talk with, explain to him my ideas and find common ground. When I speak with him we talk about everything. Even when he is not here in Italy. The most important is that I understand what he wants and he understands what we want. De Laurentiis has enthusiasm and he is a very intelligent man who knows what he wants".

"I participated in a small part of his new Christmas movie. It was very interesting, a new experience, but clearly I still have much to learn in the field of acting".

"In Naples you can eat very well. I like both pasta and pizza. I've also eaten Baba but I didn’t like it so much, I prefer other dishes. If I have to compare this city with something sweet I cannot do it with something cold, it is a very hot city. I think that Naples could be compared to hot chocolate".

"I prefer to live outside Naples because if I'm closer to my work, I can work with more tranquility. My wife really likes Naples and its history and so do I but everything I know I learned from her - she is the true expert".