Description Rafa de John Williams:
In 2004, Rafa Benitez decamped from success at Valencia CF to become manager of Liverpool, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club's first league title since 1990. In his first season in England, Benitez offered both hope and misery to Liverpool supporters. In Europe, the club battled to a memorable victory in the Champions League in 2005. Domestically, though, Liverpool faltered. An FA Cup win in 2006 could not hide continued failings in the Premiership. Could Benitez yet turn Liverpool around and learn from his early mistakes? And could Liverpool overcome their own structural and ownership problems to deliver a new stadium and a team that would finally match their supporters' ambitions? Another Champions League final in 2007 and wealthy American owners at Anfield point to another exciting new direction for Liverpool FC and its ambitious Spanish coach. "Rafa" examines the developing connections between the English and Spanish game and focuses on Benitez's attempt to bring European success and the Premiership title to Anfield. It also uniquely offers a detailed account from Spanish academic Ramon Llopis of Benitez's rise in the Spanish game, including his terrific work at Valencia. The much coveted Rafa Benitez has brought a distinctly Iberian flavour to Liverpool Football Club, and this engrossing book reveals all you need to know about the man, his football philosophy and the new Spanish fury at Anfield.
John Williams is an academic at the University of Leicester who has written widely about football and football culture. Ramon Llopis is an academic at the University of Valencia who has been involved in recent research comparing football and football cultures in England and Spain.