Rafa Benitez reveals why he intends to still be in the dugout in his 70s

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez.

Rafa Benitez wants to manage into his 70s – as he still feels young.

Benitez started his managerial career in the mid-1990s in his native Spain.

The 57-year-old went on to establish himself as one of European football’s most respected coaches.

And United’s manager is enjoying himself too much to be thinking about retirement.

“I’m 57 now, and I’m still a young manager,” said Benitez, whose ninth-placed side take on Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.

“I was quite young when I started, and I was winning trophies, so it feels like I have been there all my life.

I’m getting older, but I feel, as a manager, I have another 15 years that I can enjoy.

Rafa Benitez

“I’m getting older, but I feel, as a manager, I have another 15 years that I can enjoy.”

Benitez also addressed his future at Newcastle in an interview with Premier League World.

Benitez, frustrated at the club’s failure to strengthen, hinted in late August that he no longer saw the job as a “long-term” project.

There was a report last month that the club, which has been put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, was ready to talk about a new deal, though the 57-year-old says his contractual situation is “not an issue”.

“I know people are talking about, it but we haven’t had any conversation,” said Benitez.

“I talk with (managing director) Lee Charnley every day, and we talk about the issues we have to deal with during the week.

“This will not change anything in terms of my approach.

“I have a contract, so it’s not an issue. The issue for me is that I prepare the team properly, then we will have plenty of time to discuss the future.

“My idea is always to think about the next game.”