New Everton boss Rafa Benitez has revealed he is excited by the ‘challenge’ he faces at the club in steering them towards silverware.
The Spaniard stunned supporters on both sides of the Merseyside divide with his decision to join the Toffees, having previously spent six years in charge of bitter rivals Liverpool, between 2004 and 2010.
The 61-year-old guided the Reds to two Champions League finals in his time at Anfield, memorably winning in Istanbul at the end of his debut campaign, while he also secured an FA Cup triumph a year later.
Despite his unpopular appointment, his new side will be hoping he can replicate such a feat in his time at Goodison Park, the former Newcastle United boss having taken over from Carlo Ancelotti who has opted to return to Real Madrid.
The club are currently on a lengthy barren run without securing a piece of major silverware, having last won a trophy back in 1995, that success coming in the FA Cup.
That 26-year spell without a major honour has left the Toffees’ support desperate for success, with Benitez emphasising his desire to win and also revealing his excitement at the ‘challenge’ of winning a trophy with the club.
“My CV is there for anyone to see,” said Benitez, as per the Mirror.
“I have won 13 trophies, so I don’t have a feeling that I have to win this or I have to win that. But I want to win. It doesn’t matter what competition, I just want to win.
“That’s the same with any game. If I play chess with my daughter, my wife is telling me, ‘Listen, why don’t you allow her to win?’ That’s just how I am.
“Hopefully, we can do it at Everton because we have a good team with good players and everybody here is trying to help and create an atmosphere where we can just concentrate on football. I think it is a great challenge.”
🗣"For sure no, when I decided to start talking I was convinced this was a great opportunity."
New Everton boss Rafa Benitez answered if he considered backing down from becoming the manager following fan backlash pic.twitter.com/4IFyLN0ZFo
— Toffee TV (@ToffeeTVEFC) July 14, 2021
Set to take on his fourth role at a Premier League club – having also taken interim charge of Chelsea for the 2012/13 season – the Spaniard has insisted he is only growing in enthusiasm for the job and is keen to instil a winning ‘mentality’ at Everton.
“If I said I am more energetic now than in 2004, then maybe you will not believe me,” he added.
“My last memories of the Premier League are from Newcastle and they are fantastic. The relationship with the fans, the staff, the players, everyone who was from there… I was really happy. It was a pity to leave because there was no vision in the ideas.
“But at Everton we want to fight from the first day, trying to improve every single detail.
“It is a mentality. You go there, you want to win. You stay here, you want to win. Hopefully, I will retire in 10 years’ time, maybe, and will have the same mentality that I have now.
“I might not win every game, but I want to try to win every game.
“Everton is a great chance to create, improve and develop something that is already there – but needs to try to do a little bit better.
“To challenge for the title, to challenge for Europe? You never know.”