Rafa Says Stats Are Wrong - It's 1,000

Last updated : 17 December 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

RAFA Benitez has joined football's exclusive club of Thousand Match Managers - and fears the pressures of the modern game mean he will be one of the last men to reach the landmark.

Image result for RAFA BenitezNewcastle United's victory at Wigan on Wednesday was his 1,000th game in charge of a team since he started his managerial career with Real Madrid's B team 23 years ago.

He starts on his next 1,000 at Burton Albion on Saturday after admitting that younger managers will find it difficult to match his achievement.

"I could be the last," he said. "Maybe I won't be, but it will not be easy because it is so simple now to change managers.

"We have a lot of people waiting and there is a lot of money, so it's quite difficult.

"When I first came to England it was a project for five years. In Italy you knew it was two weeks and in Spain one month.

"Here now it's one year, so you have to perform and do something because people are investing a lot of money because they want to win the title.

"Only one can do it, but five are investing massive money. It is not easy under these conditions."

Benitez always believed he was destined to be a manager and was even assessing his team-mates at the Madrid academy when he was only 13 before becoming a manager in 1993.

He said: "I’ve learned a lot of things in that time. I remember when I was assistant at Real Madrid that I was running everywhere and doing everything, but then you allow your staff to help.

"Now I can see young coaches growing and doing the same thing I tried to do and you can help them because you have experience."

Player power and the growth of social media have also added to the problems of management, according to the Newcastle boss.

"Football is very difficult because you have to leave people out after training with them every week," he said. "To deal with these people is always quite difficult. And even more difficult in last ten years.

"You try to do the right things but agents around them don’t let you do what you want to do. They want them to move to another club because of commission.

"And social media means everything that happens within the team has repercussions. In the past, things in the dressing room stayed in the dressing room."

Many record books show Benitez has been in charge for 997 matches, but he insists they have overlooked three played while he was looking after Real Mardrid's second string in the Spanish League.