Rafa Benitez discusses his relationship with Geordies, Tyneside & Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez believes he has an unbreakable bond with Newcastle United, Tyneside and the Geordie people.

Rafael Benitez.
Rafael Benitez.

Speaking to the Athletic, Spaniard Benitez – now boss of Dalian Yifang in China – admits he took great joy in making Geordies believe in their football club again. Although it was a “pity” the way things ended at St James’s Park.

He said: “You cannot have that connection then wish them not to do well. Steve Bruce is doing well, they are organised.

“I have very good relationship with them (players), the fans, the people, the city. We have very good memories in terms of passion and commitment.

“We gave fans hope. They felt we could get bigger and bigger – that was a positive thing for me. In the end it was a pity.

“It is a pity they cannot be higher. Newcastle should be in the top 10. They have the potential, that is it.”