Real Madrid have given new manager Rafael Benitez a rather embarrassing piece of advice – but what they feel necessary – by suggesting that the former Liverpool manager lose weight before the start of the season.
Spanish daily AS report that senior Los Blancos officials are concerned with the sizeable image of the 55-year-old and president Florentino Perez wants Benitez to not only shed the pounds to meet the high demands of the club, but to avoid suffering abuse from opposition supporters.
According to the newspaper, Perez has no doubt that the ex-Napoli boss is the correct choice of coach to replace Carlo Ancelotti, but feels that his weight needs addressing over the summer.
The Spaniard has come under fire throughout his career for his size; he was taunted with the chant ‘You’re just a fat Spanish waiter’ by Premier League fans during his Liverpool career – which was even sung by Chelsea fans before his Stamford Bridge appointment.
Similarly, in a memorable press conference, prior to the Reds’ Europa League clash with Unirea Urziceni in Bucharest, Romanian reporters quizzed him over his enlarged ‘silhouette’ [Daily Mail].
What’s more, recently Sampdoria president Massimo Ferro, in April, stated that Benitez is ‘too fat’ to manage the Serie A outfit and would need to see a dietician before being considered for a role at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris [Mirror].