Pellegrini on Rafa: At least I finished the year

Date published: Tuesday 5th January 2016 4:36

Manuel Pellegrini has expressed sympathy for Rafael Benitez after his sacking at Real Madrid, but took time to b*nter him off slightly.

Real sacked head coach Benitez just seven months into his reign in Spain, evoking similar memories for Pellegrini.

The Chilean was appointed manager of the Spanish giants in 2009, and despite recording the club’s highest-ever La Liga points total, was sacked after his first full season ended with a league runners-up medal and a last-16 Champions League knockout.

Asked on his thoughts of Benitez’s sacking, Pellegrini joked: “At least I finished the year!”

“I knew from the beginning I was not to continue for the next year.

“There were some important differences with the president but it is not strange when you see what happened in Real Madrid in the last five or six years.

“I am sorry about Rafa Benitez because I think he is a manager that deserves respect but it is not strange what happened at Real Madrid.”

Pellegrini expressed his relief that Manchester City do not act in a similar fashion.

“It is absolutely different. It is another way to think about the manager. A lot of things are different.

“That is why one team is changing manager every year and at this club it is not the policy of the owners to change immediately when you don’t win a title. I repeat, different projects for each club.”

We’ll see come the summer, Manuel. There is a Spaniard-shaped shadow forming over the Premier League.

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