Rafa Benitez has dismissed the suggestion that he was unpopular with the fans at Chelsea six years after leaving the club.
Benitez was appointed interim manager at Chelsea back in 2012 when Roberto Di Matteo was sacked and enjoyed a win ratio of 58 per cent, only marginally worse than his successor Jose Mourinho.
However, he was booed by a portion of the Blues support because of his strong association with rivals Liverpool and comments about how Reds fans did not need ‘stupid plastic flags’ and that Chelsea supporters ‘lack passion’.
But in a Q & A session on The Athletic, the 59-year-old insisted that he did not regret his move to Stamford Bridge in the slightest.
‘It was a very easy decision because it was a top club with top players,’ Benitez said.
‘What I have to say is that the board, the players and the staff were always very supportive.
‘I think the majority of the fans appreciated what we did at this time.
‘I was really happy to perform and do what we did.
‘I hope that history will look back and see we did a good, professional job and that we were successful.
‘I still have a great relationship with a lot of people there.’
Benitez ended the season having guided Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League and their highest points total in four years.
He also lifted the Europa League, Chelsea’s second European trophy in as many years, a victory he still holds very dear.
‘[Apart from the 2005 Champions League], my finest achievements were Valencia at winning the league and Europa League, the Europa League with Chelsea was quite difficult, and also I am really proud of Extremadura, Tenerife and Newcastle when we were promoted,’ Benitez added.
‘You cannot choose just one. There are so many good memories.
‘At Napoli we took two cups from Juventus, that was another achievement so you have to be really proud of all of these things.’