Rafa Benitez looks like a long shot for the KFA

Home > Sports > Football

print dictionary print

Rafa Benitez looks like a long shot for the KFA

Rafa Benitez  [EPA/YONHAP]

Rafa Benitez [EPA/YONHAP]

Rafa Benitez appeared to acknowledge Sunday that he has been offered the head coach role for the Korean national team, but said that considering such a big move is difficult as he and his family are settled in Britain.
"I have things [offers] in China or South Korea or in Mexico, things like that, but you need a project with all the experience I have — my stats is quite good on these things — so we can build something,” Benitez said while discussing his future on Sky Sports on Sunday after appearing as a pundit for the Liverpool-Newcastle Premier League match.
Getting Benitez, who led Valencia to two La Liga titles in 2002 and 2004, Liverpool to a UEFA Champions League title in 2005 and Inter Milan to the FIFA Club World Cup title in 2010, would be quite a coup of the Korea Football Association.
Benitez has coached in Asia before, leading Chinese side Dalian Professional from 2019 to 2021 between spells at Newcastle United and Everton. He left the latter side in January last year and has been without a team ever since.
But persuading Benitez to move to Korea might be a hard sell. The Spanish manager said on Sky Sports on Sunday that he is looking for a team that can be a project to work on for some time, which Korea certainly would qualify as, but also that it is difficult to consider moving outside of the Premier League as his family is very comfortable in England.
“You need a project,” he said. “I was lucky enough to manage a lot of teams and of course I did that, won some trophies, and I can say now ‘I don’t like this project, I like this one.’  
“My problem is that I am fine and happy in England in terms of the Premier League, my family and everything, so sometimes you make decisions that are a risk, but the reality is that the Premier League is the best league now in the world and I want to be around Europe.”
While Benitez may be a long shot, the KFA is rapidly running out of time to sign a new manager for the national team. Korea are set to face Colombia in a friendly during the international break on March 24, but there is still no indication who will be standing on the touchline when that game kicks off.

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)