'It took like four hours to order because he wouldn't stop talking about football'
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has been described as somewhat of a football obsessive.
The Spaniard has managed some of the very best teams in world football but is in the midst of a relegation battle on Tyneside as he tries to keep the Magpies in the Premier League.
It's a peculiar situation for Benitez who is generally accustomed to battling for titles as opposed to survival but journalists Dion Fanning and Tony Evans both regaled tales of just what a football obsessive Benitez can be on the latest episode of the Football Spin.
"He knows no other way," said Fanning.
"I remember I was with you and we met him once and we were meant to be having a meal and nobody could even make an order because Rafa spent maybe about four hours talking about various elements of football.
"People kept coming up to the table to try and take an order and then Rafa would make another point about football and they'd go away again.
"That obsession, whenever you talk to him, there is no small talk. I'd meet him and he'd take up a conversation from the point it finished two years beforehand.
"He'd say: 'As I was saying to you about the Inter technical director or something' and that obsessive mindset, which is brilliant, is his strength but it's also his weakness."
Evans continued and brought up an example where Benitez went through a myriad of different on-field scenarios at dinner using the salt and pepper pots provided at restaurants.
"I was in a conversation with someone else and he dragged me back in and he gave me a problem with like the pepper and the salt pots.
"He said: 'The man is in this position, do you press him or do you lay off him?'
"I said well it depends where the ball is coming into him and if he has it under control and all that and then he says 'yeah but okay what if this man comes from midfield?'
"He starts going through this and every solution I give him he'd give me another issue to deal with and in the end I knocked the pepper pot over and said 'I'd foul him'."
To hear the full podcast listen below: