ANDl from Madrid Rafa Benítez could certify his more than likely signing for Everton on Monday or Tuesday, in what would be his return to the Premier after the tour of China. But it would not be just any return: he would return to the staunch rival, and neighbor, of Liverpool, the club with which Rafa won the Champions League (2004-05) and which, above all, is the team of his loves (2004-10) .
And obviously, there is trouble in the city both parties have been negotiating for a week. Part of the Everton fans are reluctant to have a ‘red’ symbol on their bench, in holy Goodison Park. They believe that it is unworthy, on their part, to stoop to it, although this ‘Evertonian’ position is not overwhelming either. Other ‘blues’ fans, perhaps the least, believe that Rafa would give their club prestige.
This needs to be contextualized. Everton is a staunch rival, as a neighbor, of Liverpool, although it is a local rivalry. The great historical rivalry of the ‘Pool’, and more acid and toxic, would be with Manchester United. Within Liverpool, of the city, there are many divided families, ‘evertonians’ and ‘reds’, and even many call this derby a ‘friendly derby’. That does not mean that the mess is planted in Liverpool.
But here what counts, above all, is the opinion of two people: Farhad Moshiri, the majority shareholder of the ‘toffee’, and his business partner, although he has no shares, Alisher Usmanov. They both want a ‘big name’ on their bench... and Rafa is a ‘biiiiig name’ in the Premier. ‘Very big’.
On the other hand, there is the Liverpool fans sentiment although they have fewer problems than their enemies at Everton. Fans ‘reds’ will not stop seeing Rafa as a symbol of the ‘Pool’. Everton, after all, is the city’s ‘poor brother’, from their perspective.
The mess, therefore, is on the table, especially when, as it seems, the signing is confirmed next week. To understand this whole equation, it is necessary to explain that the Rafa’s family – his wife, Montse and his two daughters – have not stopped living in Liverpool since leaving of Rafa from the club in 2010. The Benítez family, therefore, is totally identified with the city and it is understandable that the Madrilenian wants to perpetuate his legacy in the Premier … living at home again.
Rafa would replace ‘toffee’ on the bench Carlo Ancelotti, who is already planning his season with Real Madrid.