Rafa Benitez’s potential appointment as the new manager of Everton is unlikely to go down too well with supporters.
Flashback 14 years ago to 2007 and you may remember a jibe the Spaniard made towards the Toffees.
He famously won the Champions League with the Reds after that historic comeback in Istanbul and Everton supporters haven’t forgotten just how much torment he caused them.
Fans have voiced their concerns about hiring Benitez but ultimately, the decision will lie with Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright.
One positive of his arrival at Goodison Park could be his contacts book. The former Chelsea boss has worked at some of the most illustrious clubs in world football and has worked alongside some of the best players we’ve seen in the last two decades.
With that in mind, the lure of Benitez could be similar to the one Ancelotti had during his time in Merseyside.
Bale spent last term on loan at Tottenham where he scored 16 goals but is set to return to Real Madrid.
His future in the Spanish capital is still uncertain but Ancelotti was an admirer and was keen on bringing him to Goodison. As it happens, Benitez also adores the Welshman.
They worked together during Benitez’s short stint at the Bernabeu in 2015 and the Spaniard was a huge helping hand for Bale.
The 94-cap international commented: “I felt isolated out on the wing and I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do and give my best for the club.”
The forward added: “He [Benitez] listened to me, and gave me more responsibility which was what I wanted. I had a good relationship with him. He speaks very good English which helps me. I was able to speak to him a lot. We had things in common from working in England. I just enjoyed working with him.”
The idea of the duo working together, therefore, is a mouth-watering one for Everton supporters. Signing him could also help to rectify that jibe he made all those years ago.
Bale is one of the best talents in Europe, netting 105 strikes for Madrid and winning four Champions League trophies along the way.
He is also the holder of one of the best goals we’ve seen in a European final, leaping high to score a jaw-dropping overhead kick against Benitez’s beloved Liverpool in 2018.
Funnily enough, he’s a player the Everton managerial target has plenty of affection for. Speaking in 2016, Benitez said: “I never had a moment’s problem with Gareth. He was a very solid professional who listened.”
The veteran continued: “But what I see in him most is improvement. There are areas of his game that he continues to work on. He can get better. Obviously, he’s a very good player now. But in a couple of years if he carries on, I don’t see any reason why he could not be regarded as the best.”
Bale has endured a turbulent and toxic time in Madrid but scored nine goals and registered ten assists in just 15 outings under the coach in question.
The Wales international proved last term that he can still perform to a high level and despite a missed penalty at Euro 2020, has been in inspired form again.
He registered two assists in the nation’s 2-0 win over Turkey on Wednesday. A player of the highest order, Benitez would surely win over the Everton fans by signing him.