• Premier League

Benitez would consider Spain post

ESPN staff
February 19, 2013
Rafael Benitez has struggled to win the support of the Chelsea fans since replacing Roberto Di Matteo © Getty Images

Chelsea interim coach Rafael Benitez says he could manage Spain in the future.

Current Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque, 62, who has overseen success at both World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, has yet to say whether he will continue after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The former Valencia, Liverpool and Inter Milan boss, 52, told Radio Nacional de Espana on Monday evening that he did not want to be seen to be angling for Del Bosque's job, but he could see himself coaching La Roja at some point in his career.

"I have a good relationship with Vicente, but I would not rule out becoming national coach, after Vicente has left of course," Benitez said. "It is something I see a long way down the line. For that I would need to stay at the top level and keep being successful."

Benitez admitted he had a mixed time since taking his current position at Stamford Bridge in November 2012.

"The big problem is that I was Liverpool manager and I am paying for the success I had there," he said. "However, I keep working with professionalism, I am focused on having success with Chelsea. All we can do is concentrate on doing our best. I am the happiest person in the world each time we win a game."

There was only so much an interim coach who arrives mid-season at a struggling team can do to turn things around, Benitez said.

"When we arrived the team was practically out of the Champions League, on the slide in the Premier League and had lost painfully in the European Supercup," he said.

"It was a team in transition which was not getting good results. We are the team which has played the most games in all of Europe. You cannot do everything you want to do on a tactical level when you only have so much time."

The Madrid-born boss said his Chelsea centre-forward Fernando Torres would regain both his form and place in Del Bosque's current squad.

"He began the season well and now he is in more of a rut, although playing every game as a lone striker is difficult," Benitez said. "I believe he will get back into the Spanish set-up. He is getting chances in games, and training well."

Former Real Madrid youth team player and coach Benitez also gave his judgements on the prospects for Spanish clubs in this season's Champions League.

"Malaga are playing well, while Barcelona are still the favourites," he said. "Valencia did not get things right against Paris Saint-Germain and will not have it easy to go through. The tie between Manchester United and Real Madrid is 50-50 because Madrid are dangerous on the counter-attack, but United are very strong at home."

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