Benitez backs Guardiola for top coach
Former Liverpool and Inter boss Rafa Benitez believes Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola should be crowned FIFA World Coach of the Year for 2011.
The prestigious prize will be awarded on Monday evening at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich, with the Catalan coach up against Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson.
Guardiola led Barcelona to La Liga and Champions League glory last season and Benitez is adamant this will give him the advantage over his two rivals for the award.
“It is difficult (to choose between the three) but I do not want to evade the question. I’ve always said that I’ve favoured a more peculiar way of interpreting football, the environment and life itself which would lead me to answer Pep Guardiola,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“I think his greatest strength has been his ability to give continuity to the project. Getting to the top is not as complicated as staying there. You can win one day but to win consistently is tough.”
Benitez also gave his opinion on why Barca star Lionel Messi has not been able to replicate his club form for the Argentina national team.
“The surroundings of Barcelona are very favourable to him, he’s very comfortable there while Argentina put so many expectations on him. At Barcelona he feels trusted, he feels loved and he gets to play with less pressure. He is an exceptional player and an even more exciting future lies ahead,” he said.
Benitez is currently out of work after leaving Inter in December 2010 after only six months in the job.
Sat 7 January, 2012