Rafa Benitez’s personal life: Charming his future wife with 4-4-2

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 23.3.2023.

Rafa Benitez

Certainly not the most celebrity-like top manager, yet due to his legacy at Anfield and some controversies that have followed his subsequent moves, Rafa Benitez's personal life was always in the tabloids.

Rafa Benitez was born in 1960, with his full name Rafael Benitez Maudes. His parents Francisco and Rosario lived all their life in Madrid and Spain's capital marked both their and their son's life. Mother was a Real Madrid fan, while the father supported Atletico passionately, yet the footballing family didn't suffer any rifts when Rafa joined Los Blancos as a kid.

"My parents were a great influence on me, growing up in Madrid. My dad worked in the hotel industry from the age of 11 right through until his retirement," said the manager.

A middle child, Rafa Benitez has an older brother Franciso Javier, and a younger sister Maria del Rosario.

Football was always Rafa's first love, but he also trained basketball, handball, swimming, and judo. An athlete all around, he later graduated in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. While, unsurprisingly, he was also quite fond of the game of chess.

His playing career didn't fan out to be all he has hoped due to injuries and Rafa took regular jobs before he went full-time into management. While this was devastating as it would be for any young man with a dream, it did lead him to meeting his wife. While working as a manager at a gym he met his now-wife Maria de Montserrat, who is seven years younger than him and was a customer at the gym.

The two married in 1998 and a year later they had their first daughter Claudia. Four years later Agata was born.

Even the daughters were into football and Benitez's wife revealed that Rafa was keen, perhaps even too much, to coach the elementary school team.

"It was hilarious," Maria recalled. "He stood there on the touchline and shouted at them as if it was the first division, waving his arms around." To be expected from the man who explained her 4-4-2 on their first date.

Legends have it that Rafa even passed the notes to his daughters' coaches, giving them tactical tips. Daughters, that have been in England so long they’ve identified as Liverpoolians. Always looking for an edge, Rafa "used" his daughters to help him in reaching better communication with the younger players of today.

It can be said that Rafa Benitez's kids and wife are actually a considerable part of his career as well. While we, for instance, never heard from miss Mourinho, Rafa Benitez's wife known as Montse, did speak to the media on a number of occasions. Even taking a strong jab at Jose Mourinho himself.

A lot of that has to do with the nature of her work, as he runs a charity foundation. Doing humanitarian work in north Africa but in areas of people with disabilities as well.

Before the famed Istanbul Champions League final, Rafa Benitez shared a story about his wife, insinuating that he was his lucky charm on the road to conquering Spain and UEFA Cup with Valencia. While foreshadowing the triumph in the CL even prior to the semis.

"When I was at Valencia my wife said that we would win the league. She was right and to mark the occasion she asked me for a new watch. I bought her the watch, but then she said that we would win the UEFA Cup and that when we did she wanted another watch. Now she says that we will win the Champions League and that she will want an even more expensive watch. My wife has a lot of confidence and a lot of watches," said Rafa.

Yet not everything was great with Rafa Benitez's personal life being so public, as when he joined Everton in 2021, some fans of both teams had a hissy fit. With serious threats written as graffiti or online, none scarier than the famed "Rafa Benitez, we know where you live."

Unfortunately, Rafa Benitez's house in West Kirby, or better say his mansion, was very popular in the tabloids, due to its size and value. The estate was estimated at €4,000,000 with a large backyard and a view on the River Dee. Luckily, it is guarded by three very agile and cute dogs that have been taught by their master to work as a team. Surely.


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