Champions League Dreams is a stimulating and deeply insightful football narrative by Rafa Benitez which focuses on the legendary manager's dramatic six Champions League campaigns with Liverpool. Rafa expertly navigates fans through intriguing European adventures that embrace the triumph and despair of two Champions League finals, three semi-finals and five quarter-finals in what was a golden era for the Anfield club - an era that supporters felt gave them their pride back after years in the wilderness. What sets Champions League Dreams apart is the unique ways in which Rafa allows fans into his high-pressured world, the fascinating glimpses he offers of a top manager's thought processes and decision making during the cut and thrust of a high-octane European campaign. Understand how a great manager prepares for, then executes, a master-plan for European success.
Rafa Benitez began his football coaching career at Real Madrid before going on to manage Real Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife. But it was at Valencia where he really made his name, managing the club to the Spanish La Liga title twice - in 2002 and 2004. Appointed manager of Liverpool in 2004, in Rafa's first year in charge he delivered the Champions League trophy, courtesy of an astonishing second-half come-back against AC Milan that came to be known as The Miracle of Istanbul . His time at Liverpool also brought four consecutive seasons in the Premier League top 4, the European Super Cup in 2005, and the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2006, but it was the Champions League record which marked him out as an absolutely outstanding operator - he won it once, finished runner-up once, and reached another semi-final and another quarter-final. Benitez left Liverpool to join Inter Milan in 2010, where we won the Italian Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, before he departed Italy in 2011.