• Premier League

Benitez denies Real 'sweetheart' comment

ESPN staff
February 20, 2013
Rafael Benitez believes his comments on Real Madrid were mistranslated © Getty Images

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Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has insisted his comments about taking charge of Real Madrid were mistranslated.

Benitez, who is contracted to the Blues until the end of the season, was quoted as telling Radio Nacional de Espana that Madrid were his "sweetheart" due to the time he spent at the club as a player and coach.

According to the Spanish edition of his official website, rafabenitez.com, the Chelsea coach responded to a query about returning to Madrid by saying: "I have a contract with Chelsea until the end of the season and I am going to do everything possible so that this club has the best of success.

"Madrid have, as of today, a coach with a continuing contract and that deserves respect. As a coach, you always have your 'corazoncito'. I have a connection with the fans where I have been treated well. I arrived at Madrid aged 13 and I am from Madrid, but I do not want to enter into speculation because me words are not always properly understood [or interpreted]. Of course I follow the Spanish league, but what I want now is to win many games with Chelsea. As many as possible."

The term "corazoncito" could translate as "sweetheart" or perhaps "first love". It does not appear on the English edition of the website.

Asked about the remarks at a press conference in England on Wednesday, Benitez said: "You have my website - it's easy to remember. And I don't want too much publicity, but you can see the translation because, when we're talking in Spain, translations will always change something.

"I didn't say the word that they say - 'sweetheart'. I didn't say that. You can go to my website and see in English what I said.

"I have a lot of respect for Real Madrid because they have a manager in place and I have to focus on Chelsea and do my best for Chelsea. That's it. My job now is to my best for Chelsea - very clear.

"I said before, I was talking in Spain, talking about the Spanish national team. I have a very good relationship with Vicente del Bosque. I was his assistant [at Real Madrid]; his staff are my friends. [We were talking about] the future, after two or three managers - why not [take the job]? Then ... I have to talk about my future. The present is Chelsea."

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