Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Real's Benitez seeking balance between defence and attack

17 August 2015, 16:54

Madrid - In his first season in charge at Real Madrid, Rafa Benitez faces a delicate balancing act between allowing his formidable attack the freedom to perform and preventing opponents exploiting any defensive weakness.

Benitez, who joined Real from Napoli following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti at the end of last season, has gained a reputation as a defensive coach during stints at clubs including Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Also read: Sergio Ramos signs new five-year Real Madrid deal

But with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Isco in his ranks, he must satisfy the desire of the demanding Real fans for spectacular attacking football without sacrificing the solidity in midfield and at the back that Real were sometimes missing last term.

Benitez, who trained in the Real academy as a boy and went on to coach the club's youth teams, has returned home to sign a three-year contract but will be well aware that failure to win major silverware in his debut season will not be tolerated.

"I know what the supporters want: good football and victories," Benitez said in an interview with Spanish daily El Pais published on Monday.

"This team scores a lot of goals and has to continue scoring them but we have also conceded them and we have to correct that," added the 55-year-old.

"If I have an offensive team I will go on the attack and if I have to make changes I will make them.

"But what Madrid has to do is score more goals than the opponent and try not to let them score any."

Real begin their latest La Liga campaign at promoted Sporting Gijon on Sunday and will be trying to prevent champions and great rivals Barcelona winning a sixth Spanish title in eight years.

Benitez said some of the keys to Real's tactics will be pressuring opponents high up the pitch and allowing the forwards freedom to switch positions depending on the situation.

"Our idea is to have the ball and know what to do with it," he said. "And when we don't have it, knowing how we are going to get it back and where.

"The team needs to improve in defence but starting up front. That does not mean the forwards need to drop back but that they need to press high to win the ball back as quickly as possible and be closer to the opposition goal."

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...