Rafael Benítez seeking World Club Cup boost for Inter Milan

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
rafael benitez
(Photo: Martin Caparrotta)

rafael benitez

Under-fire Internazionale boss Rafael Benítez is hoping to turn around his troubled start at the San Siro with victory at the Club World Cup next week.

Benítez only took over from Jose Mourinho in the summer but has already seen his side lose seven matches in all competitions this season – the latest defeat coming in Tuesday’s 3-0 reversal at Werder Bremen. Last season’s treble winners trail Serie A pace-setters AC Milan by 10 points, inevitably casting Benítez’s position into the spotlight.

However, the former Liverpool manager insists he is not concerned by his side’s unconvincing form and expects his team to produce positive performances in Abu Dhabi next week.

“I think that, for all of us, it will be an important event,” said Benítez, who was a runner-up in the competition with Liverpool following a 1-0 defeat to Sao Paolo in the 2006 final. “For me, as a coach, it is an opportunity to win an incredibly important tournament.

“I remember the past with Liverpool, but I must forget and think about the future, because I think it is more important to move on and believe we can win this time.”

The 51-year-old manager was quick to play down the significance of Tuesday’s Champions League defeat with Inter having already qualified for the knock-out stages before the clash. Benítez opted to rest the remaining stars in his already-depleted squad, instead relying upon youth and inexperience in Bremen.

“We did not play a good game, but this was a match with the team already qualified,” he said. “The important match was the one against FC Twente.”

He added: “We played so many youngsters so not to risk anyone, and the important thing is that there were no injuries.”

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