Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has insisted he can continue in top-flight management for another fifteen seasons, according to a report in The Mirror.
The Spaniard is confident he can carry on managerial occupancy until the ripe age of 72, which is a year longer in the dugout in comparison to former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired from management in 2013.
Benitez says the strain and burden of the modern game “brings the best” out of him and one would be hard-pressed to disagree considering his trophy haul. Benitez has won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, Europa League, La Liga, Coppa Italia, FA Cup and others during a noteworthy career that has taken him to seven managerial positions.
The former Liverpool boss feels he is still a "young" manager and can endure for many years to come with his supporting staff team around him. He stated: “I’m 57 now — I’m still a young manager. I was quite young when I started and I was winning trophies, so it feels like I have been there all my life.
“I am getting older but I feel like, as a manager, I have another 15 years that I can enjoy. It’s a profession that I like.”
The ex-Real Madrid, Napoli, Inter and Chelsea boss has gained a reputation for an intense and systematic work ethic and views himself as a manager who has had to work hard for his success.
Benitez explained: “Sometimes you like to switch off but I like to feel the pressure and it brings the best out of me. We have good staff and I’m not worried about the pressure. You can feel the pressure but normally I’m fine with this.
“Some managers are lucky because they have the best team possible and they win. But some managers have a career and work very hard. For me, that is the way.
“I like to see how my teams are improving; to create teams that can be competitive and you can win against everyone. It’s a frustration when you cannot do it but we try to do things in the best way possible and I like to do things really well.
“Normally when managers are successful, it is because they live for football. But also some of them have great teams, so they go and enjoy it and they don’t need to do too much. There are different ways to win but if you want to win, especially at the stage when you are a young manager, and don’t have the best team, you have to work very hard.”
Benitez gave some intimation last month that working with the Magpies may not be something he considers a “long-term” project, but with a possible takeover and new club ownership his stance may change.
Regarding his future Benitez said: "I know people are talking about it, but we haven’t had any conversation. I talk with Lee Charnley every day and we talk about the issues we have to deal with during the week. I have a contract, so it is 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, but in terms of, 'Can we improve the squad, the club, the team in terms of football?' And I think so. So we will do one thing at a time and make sure the team settles down in the Premier League then after we can improve things.”