Atsu: Benitez is like a father to me

Author: Peter Sarbah
Rafa Benitez and Christian Atsu
Rafa Benitez and Christian Atsu

Newcastle star, Christian Atsu, has described the relationship between him and his manager, Rafa Benitez, as that of a father and son.

According to the Ghanaian, Benitez’s influence on him was not only limited on to the pitch but also extends to taking care of his personal management.

“Rafa’s like a father,” Atsu says. “He encourages me almost every day. Tactically Rafa’s very detailed but he’s not just about tactics and coaching. He’s very good at the human side of management which is so important.”

He also described the manager as a great coach with the potential of transforming players and believed he was the right choice for the club because he could easily attract big players who could help them win trophies.

“Rafa’s great for this club. With him here, big players will come to Newcastle and we can win trophies.”

The 27-year-old said the Newcastle manager was an open minded person who was willing to listen to the personal problems of his players but also demands the best of his players by pushing them to the limit.

“Everyone here finds Rafa warm. If you have a problem you can go and speak to him, you can talk to him about anything. He keeps pushing everyone in training every day; he teaches you how to be a professional on and off the pitch.”

Atsu also described his manager as one of the best in the world to be handling a great club like Newcastle and added that he was among the few coaches to have also won a Champions League.

 “Newcastle’s a big club and Rafa’s a great manager, one of the best in the world, one of the few to have won the Champions League. He’s great for this club, with him here, big players will come to Newcastle and we can win trophies.”