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11-22-2017, 07:17 PM
As Rafa Benitez commits to managing Newcastle in the Championship, we look at how hes gone from Real Madrid to Englands second tier in 12 months. JuneAfter winning the Coppa Italia in his first season in charge, Benitezs two years at Napoli had ended in disappointing fashion in May 2015, with the team missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the Serie A campaign. However, despite the clubs fifth-place finish, speculation Benitez was set to be appointed by Real Madrid was rife. Bernabeu to Burton Rafa Benitez managed Real Madrid in front of 80,148 against Barcelona at the Bernabeu in 2015/16. Next season he will take Newcastle to Burton Albion in the Championship, where the capacity of the Pirelli Stadium is 6,912. On June 4, it was confirmed - Madrid-born Benitez, a former coach of Reals youth and B teams, was going back to the Bernabeu. Rafael Benitez and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez at his presentation Benitez, a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti, said at his appointment: Its an emotional day, a very special one. I have worked very hard to achieve success and return home, which was an aim of mine. The cycle is completed but I hope it lasts a long time.The Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey are our objectives, as Madrid must win each game. Benitez gives instructions to Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale JulyBenitez began his Real Madrid tenure with globe-trotting friendlies in July. From Australia to China, comfortable wins over Manchester City and Inter Milan were sandwiched by goalless draws with Roma and AC Milan. However, the main focus was on how Benitez was attempting to fit Gareth Bale into a No 10 role, while keeping star man Cristiano Ronaldo happy.Off the pitch, Benitezs wife was making headlines after claiming her husband was, once again, clearing up Jose Mourinhos mess at one of his former clubs. If she takes care of her husbands diet, she will have less time to speak about me, retorted a less-than-impressed Mourinho.August Benitez oversees Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid training August brought the start of the 2015/16 season - but a goalless draw at Sporting Gijon was far from an ideal beginning for Benitez. If he was in any doubt about how closely his every result would be scrutinised while in charge of Los Blancos, the media storm in Spain - slamming his defensive approach, despite Reals 27 shots at goal - would have made the enormity of his task quite clear.A 5-0 home win over Real Betis next time out silenced the critics... temporarily. September Five games, four wins, 15 goals and only one conceded followed in September as Reals La Liga and Champions League campaigns gathered pace - although Benitez was left bemoaning Reals finishing after a 0-0 draw with Malaga.Hes the best coach Ive ever had, said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez - no doubt a satisfying compliment for Benitez, given the fact Perez had previously appointed Jose Mourinho. Benitez to stay at Newcastle Rafa Benitez and Newcastle have struck a deal to see him remain as manager, according to Sky sources OctoberReal remained unbeaten through October - although a 1-1 draw at rivals Atletico Madrid drew more criticism of Benitezs style - and victory over Las Palmas at the end of the month ensured a third-straight week at the top of the La Liga table. Benitez steered Real Madrid to the top of La Liga NovemberNovember started with a 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabeu but would turn out to be the month which sparked the beginning of the end for Benitezs tenure at Real Madrid.A 3-2 defeat at a Sevilla side which had been defeated in three of their last four outings was Reals first loss of the season. The result left Real three points behind rivals Barcelona going into the international break, with El Clasico next up. And thats where the wheels truly came off.Goals from Neymar, Andres Iniesta and a Luis Suarez brace handed Real a humiliating 4-0 defeat in front of their own fans, left them six points off the pace in the title race and threw Benitezs future into doubt.Perez moved quickly to dispel rumours Benitez was to be sacked imminently but it would be a defeat the manager would never recover from, despite the team bouncing back to win five in a row. A heavy defeat to Barcelona threw Benitezs future into doubt DecemberBenitez saw his Real Madrid team crush the majority of their opposition in December, winning 4-1 over Getafe, 8-0 against Malmo, 10-2 at home to Rayo Vallecano and 3-1 versus Real Sociedad. However, a 1-0 loss at Villarreal had further damaged the clubs title hopes ahead of the winter break.January Benitezs final game in charge of Real Madrid was against Valencia Real Madrid started 2016 with a thrilling 2-2 draw at Gary Nevilles Valencia - but it was to be Benitezs final game in charge. He was dismissed the following day, with the team four points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid and two points behind Barcelona, who had a game in hand. A lot of people, for different reasons, have made a caricature out of him, but he is one of the top 10 managers in the last decade, said Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague at the time. He has won trophies everywhere.In England, I think we are feeling he has been harshly treated, and he has regained some credit, and that some people feel sorry for him. I think everybody knows what a difficult club Real is, and what Benitez can bring to a team. Benitez hit out at his treatment at Real Madrid FebruaryIn February, Benitez spoke out about his time at the Bernabeu, defending his record, criticising president Perez and admitting his frustration at having his work cut short.Benitez also revealed a desire to return to management in the Premier League.March Newcastle had 10 Premier League games remaining when Benitez took over Just two months after battling it out for the Champions League and La Liga with Real Madrid, Benitez returned to management at relegation-threatened Newcastle. Benitez penned a three-year deal - which significantly included a break option, should the Magpies drop out of the Premier League - and had 10 games to save Newcastles season. Cmon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement, Benitez said on his appointment. Benitez signed an initial three-year deal with Newcastle, which included a relegation break clause Despite a 1-0 defeat at Premier League leaders Leicester in Benitezs first game in charge, there were hints at an immediate improvement from a side which had lost five of their previous six, and a late leveller in the Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland a week later was a significant boost.April Newcastles survival hopes were seriously dented at the start of April, though, with back-to-back defeats - first to fellow strugglers Norwich, and then Southampton. Even two wins and two draws in the next four - including hard-fought ties with Manchester City and Liverpool - couldnt lift the Magpies out of the drop zone. Benitez takes training at Newcastle MayA 0-0 draw at already relegated Aston Villa, followed by Sunderlands midweek win over Everton, sealed Newcastles fate but a 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham on the final day was at least some reward for the improvement made under Benitez.The performance thrilled the St James Park faithful, who sung in support of Benitez throughout the game and afterwards Benitez said his heart was telling him to stick with Newcastle and lead them in the Championship next season. Benitez salutes the Newcastle fans, who were an important factor in his decision to stay on as manager And on May 25, Sky sources revealed Benitez had agreed a new three-year deal to remain as Newcastle boss.Next up for the Spaniard? Planning for trips to Burton Albion and Rotherham, as he seeks an immediate return to top-flight football with the Magpies. 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Ryan Riess emerged with the title after a session in which he started behind, but used expert skill to gather the chips to his side amid the unpredictability of no-limit Texas Hold em. Riess put his final opponent Jay Farber all-in with an Ace-King. Farber, a Las Vegas club promoter, had been fighting for his tournament life for several hours. With just 14.2 million in chips to Reiss 176.5 million, Farber made his stand with Queen and 5 of spades, only to run into Reisss Ace and King of hearts. It wasnt looking promising, but he had a chance -- that is until the flop came four-Jack-10. That meant a Queen now would make a straight for Reiss, so only one of the three remaining fives in the deck could help Farber. Neither the fourth nor the fifth community cards brought any help, and Reiss was champion. Reiss backed into the stands to watched the cards turn, and won the championship with the arms of a girlfriend around his shoulders. His fans immediately tackled him to the ground. Moments later, he accepted the diamond-encrusted championship bracelet. "I want to thank my family and my friends, theyre the best friends in the world," he said, his voice choked with tears. Asked how such a young player came in with so much confidence, he said, "I just think Im the best player in the world." Marc-Etienne McLaughlin of Brossard, Que., finished sixth. He earned $1,601,024. Farber said he plans to keep his day job, despite the $5.2 million second-place haul, and added that all the publicity would be good for business. The men started the night at the 1,600-seat theatre at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino off the Las Vegas Strip walking onto like prizefighters, with showgirls looking on and a UFC announcer introducing Riess as "Riess the beast" and Farber as "the panda." After starting 19 million chips ahead with 105 million, Farber was down to 15 million two hours into the night, which he pushed all in before doubling up, and starting a minor comeback. Riess seemed to both outplay Farber and catch a streak of better cards as the night began. He traced his fingers in small circles on the green felt, and gave Farber occasional wan smiiles.dddddddddddd His fans, a collection of clean-cut men in white "Riess the beast" T-shirts, chanted and stomped each time the boyish players with a mop of strawberry blonde hair used his chip advantage to go after Farber. On the club promoters side, stylish guys with tight T-shirts and slick hair under fuzzy panda hats called out taunts about bankrupt Detroit, and mocked Riess youth, height and messy hair. Riess side called back that pandas are delicious, referencing the "combat panda" symbol Farber has adopted, settling a mini-stuffed animal on the green felt and bringing along a plush mascot who was kicked out for disorderly behaviour Monday but returned with a bit less swagger Tuesday. Both sides watched with fists pressed to light lips as Farbers fortunes plummeted. The winnings they were competing for-- a sparkling bracelet and $8.4 million in cash -- sat between them on the table like a third player. Riess, Farber and seven other finalists beat out a field of 6,352 entrants in the no-limit Texas Hold em tournament in July. On Monday night, Riess eliminated four competitors with a sly, steady playing style, and Farber took out the other three with more straightforward, aggressive plays. A VIP club promoter with heavily tattooed forearms and a bouncers build, Farber has said he considers poker a hobby. Some are calling him a new-age Chris Moneymaker, after the amateur who famously won pokers richest tournament in 2004, catapulting the championship into the mainstream and convincing every computer nerd with a pair of mirrored sunglasses that he could take on the pros. Riess began to seem like an underdog Tuesday night, despite his chip advantage, as observers from the ESPN commentators in the theatre to Twitter pundits around the world gushed about his opponents unconventional backstory and supposed ability to usher in a new golden age of poker. Farber had the benefit of counting some of the worlds best poker pros among his friends, some of whom may have a claim on the pile of money sitting on the table underneath the blue and red glare of television lights. Farber says he sold stakes in his championship bid because the $10,000 entrance fee was too much to put up by himself. He said he kept a significant part of his own action, though he wouldnt say whether hed kept a majority. Now his investors stand to win about $840,000 for every thousand they put in. 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