Rafa Benitez reveals the role Father Ted played when he first moved to England 3 years ago

Rafa Benitez reveals the role Father Ted played when he first moved to England

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that he watched a range of British and Irish sitcoms to help him with his English when he first moved to Liverpool in 2004.

Benitez succeeded Gérard Houllier at Anfield after winning two La Liga titles and a UEFA Cup with Valencia.

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He then won a Champions League title with Liverpool in his first season at the club, and while it didn't take long for him to embed his football ideas at Liverpool, it did take him a while longer to develop his English but watching sitcoms like Father Ted certainly helped.

"My English was poor when I first arrived - as it still is - but I used to listen to the Beatles to improve it," Benitez told the BBC.

"When I first came, I enjoyed watching Father Ted, Fawlty Towers - with the waiter who was supposed to be Spanish but sounded more Italian. Only Fools and Horses is a big favourite of mine.

"I used to watch My Family, Blackadder, and the Vicar of Dibley, I watched them all. They were great fun. They helped me relax and now I watch them all."

Newcastle have 16 points from their opening 17 matches this season and currently sit just four points above the relegation zone.

It is a marked improvement from where the Magpies were at the start of the season where Newcastle were 19th in the table with no wins from their first 10 games.

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The club won three straight games against Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley last month to lift them out of the relegation zone with Benitez winning the Premier League manager of the month award.

"It's always good to win trophies," said Benitez after winning the award.

"Obviously I would like to win more manager of the months, then we would be in a better position in the table.

"But it's always positive and it is good also for the staff. Everybody is helping you and it is an extra motivation."