SIX months ago Rafa Benitez was giving team talks to Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the Bernabeu.
He was being tipped as Vincent del Bosque’s successor for the national job.
But now, in a unforeseen career move, the Spanish gaffer is rubbing shoulders with messrs Rob Elliot and Emmanuel Riviere at the Premier League’s second-bottom side.
Taking over at Newcastle United, Rafa watched his new side lose 1-0 to a rampant Leicester City side.
The former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Liverpool boss now has nine games to save Newcastle from relegation. If not, he has a getout clause should the go down.