Rafa Benitez ‘Champions League Dreams’
Last night I had the honour and privilege of meeting Rafa Benitez. Not only one of the best mangers to take charge of Liverpool but one of the best modern managers around and also a personal hero of mine. The man is an absolute legend.
Last night he talked about his new book ‘Champions League Dreams’ showing his passion, intelligence, knowledge, conviction and even humour for his career in football. The event was hosted by The Times in a Q&A format with the questions coming from fellow red and football Editor at The Times, Tony Evans. Both Evans and Rafa were great with the latter garnishing chants, cheers and songs from a smartly dressed crowd in London.
After the Q&A Session, I (along with the Blackpool supporting Adam Kinder) queued up to get my book signed (see above) and meet Rafa. There was not much time as there were a lot of people to get through and at one point it looked like we may miss out, but finally I got to the front to meet the big man.
I walked up to him said ‘Hi Rafa’ as he extended his hand to me, which I shook instantly. As he was signing my copy of his book I simply said ’ It is an absolute pleasure to meet you Rafa’ and replied ’ You too Scott’. We both smiled, shook hands again, this time me instigating and I said ‘Thanks Rafa’ and left, with my signed copy of the book in hand.
I realise I sound like a bit of a fangirl in that interaction but Rafa is one of my heros and to meet the man was something I will take with me to the day I die, no matter how brief the meeting was.
Thank you Rafa for everything you did at Liverpool, giving me some of the happiest days of my life as a football fan. Thank you for writing the book with the wonderful Rory Smith. Thank you for being so warm and engaging during the Q&A session and staying around to sign copies for everyone that queued up. Overall thank you for being you Rafa, for standing up for what was right, defending the clubs honour and standing up to those that tried to bully you be it fans, press, managers or owners. You will always be a father of Liverpool and I hope one day in the future you and our great club cross paths again.
Thank You Rafa