Benitez Reveals Spain Wanted Him as Manager at Russia 2018


Newcastle Manager, Rafael Benitez, has revealed he was approached by the Spanish Football Federation to temporarily take charge of Spain at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

BBC Sport reported yesterday that the RFEF wanted the 58-year-old to take charge after Julen Lopetegui was sacked two days before Spain’s opening match.

Fernando Hierro took charge on an interim basis as Spain went on to lose on penalties to Russia in the Last-16.
Ex-Barcelona Coach, Luis Enrique, has now been appointed on a two-year contract.

Speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle yesterday, Benitez said: “There was maybe a chance, but still I am here and I am happy to be here. There was a chance. There were rumours about that.”

Benitez said that Newcastle may have to sell before they can buy new players in the transfer window.

Newcastle has so far signed goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on a permanent deal after a loan spell last season while former Swansea midfielder, Ki Sung-Yueng, has joined as a free agent. Newcastle re-engaged Brazilian attacker Kennedy on loan from Chelsea.

“Unfortunately it’s what we have to do,” said Benitez, “We have to wheel and deal, that is the way for us.
“We have to be realistic with our budget, and then maybe sell some players and buy some players.”