Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has thanked Rafa Benitez for the squad he inherited from the Spanish coach when he took over as Napoli boss in 2015.
Benitez led Chelsea to the Europa League title during a brief spell as Caretaker manager in 2013, but he remains a hugely unpopular figure with most Blues fans due to his tie spent as Liverpool manager.
However, with Chelsea set to face Rafa’s Newcastle side tomorrow afternoon at St.James Park, Sarri has been quick to praise his managerial counterpart and also revealed that he expects a tough game in the North East.
“I have to say thank you to Rafa,” Sarri told a press conference on Friday.
“When I arrived in Naples I had the feeling that the team was almost ready to play my football.
“If I arrived after another coach it may have been more difficult for me. He’s a very good Coach.
“Sunday will be very difficult for us. Chelsea lost 3-0 there last season but Manchester United and Arsenal also lost.”