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Here's what Rafa Benitez has previously said about managing Spain

Rafa Benitez has been linked with the Spain job
Rafa Benitez has been linked with the Spain job

Reports have linked Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez with the vacant Spanish managerial job.

With Julen Lopetegui being announced as the new Real Madrid manager, speculation is rife as to who will take over in the national team hotseat.

A decision on a replacement is unlikely to be made until after the upcoming World Cup after Lopetegui was sacked just two days before Spain kick-off the tournament.

Rumours are already circulating as to who may take over the 2010 World Cup winners with a number of names reportedly in the frame.

And one name mentioned is that of Benitez, although there is no evidence that the Spanish federation hold any interest in the Newcastle United boss.

But Benitez has commented on the prospect of taking the Spanish job in the past.

In a 2010 interview with www.as.com, published while Vicente Del Bosque was the Spanish manager, Benitez admitted it was a job that would interested him.

He said: "Of course, in a few years, once Del Bosque ends his work, I would like to be Spain coach.

"All of the Spanish coaches would like in the future to become national team manager."

More recently, however, Benitez has suggested that his focus is on Newcastle United.

In an interview with MARCA, published in October 2017, Benitez suggested that continued success on Tyneside is the priority - and may lead him to that national team job.

"If I do well here, then maybe. If not, the national team won't happen," he admitted.