Rafa Benitez 'told to lose weight' by Real Madrid hierarchy who fear fat jibes that followed him during Chelsea spell

Club trying to 'prevent attack' of the kind he received at Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid have apparently told new manager Rafael Benitez that he should lose weight.

The Spaniard, 55, was hired to replace Carlo Ancelotti at the Bernabeu, having spent the last two seasons with Napoli in Serie A.

According to Spanish newspaper AS, the hierarchy want Benitez to slim down so that the kind of taunts that followed him in England will not be a factor in the Spanish capital.

The report even states that Real president Florentino Perez had second thoughts about appointing the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager because of his public image.

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A banner at Stamford Bridge during Benitez's reign at Chelsea

During his unpopular reign at Stamford Bridge - where he was dubbed the 'Interim One' - Benitez was frequently called fat and heard songs and read banners that referred to him as a 'fat Spanish waiter', a name Chelsea fans had first used while he was in charge at rivals Liverpool.

The report states that the club want to 'prevent any attack' similar to the ones he received during 2012/13, when he lead Chelsea to a Europa League win.

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