Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Benitez seeks 'better' football

Rafael Benitez has said he wants Inter to play "better" football than under his predecessor, Jose Mourinho.

Benitez takes over from Mourinho on the back of a Treble-winning season as Inter - two-time winners of the European Cup in the 1960s - clinched the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.

Yet, while Benitez can do little to improve on Mourinho's record in terms of silverware, he is convinced he can make improvements to the way the players perform.


"I want to understand whether this team still has the desire to learn," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We are still not complete, but the players that there are have shown that they have the right mentality, attitude and predisposition to do what I ask.

"I would like to try to play better, with the team playing higher up the pitch with greater ball possession. The team has also asked me for this. It will not be an easy job.

"I studied Inter and I saw that they won above all because of violent counter attacks. They didn't keep the ball a lot, but played it forward quickly when they got possession.

"I like to teach football, speak a lot and make the players understand what they have to do."

Asked how he would cope with comparisons to Mourinho, he said: "I believe that we can do something better, like I already said, on a level of play."

"What I like to do is build something concrete and leave a solid foundation for the future," he continued.

"I respect those who came before me and it makes no sense to throw away the work done by others. Mourinho at Inter built on good work by (Roberto) Mancini and before at Chelsea that of (Claudio) Ranieri.

"At Inter I saw so much that I liked. A President who wants to build something that remains long, and in this context I think I could stay for many years. Like at Liverpool.

The Spaniard also refused to be drawn on speculation that stars Maicon and Mario Balotelli, who have been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Manchester City respectively, will be sold this summer.

"The club decides the transfers, I adapt. Do I fear being remembered in a few years as the coach who let go of Balotelli? I repeat: I do not control the market. One player doesn't make a team and Inter has many strong players."

Source: ESPN

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