Chelsea last night lifted the Europa League trophy after a 2-1 win against Benfica.
The trophy will be interim manager Rafa Benitez’s only trophy as he leaves the club in the summer after just over half a season.
Many may think so what? Benitez knew he was only a short term fix but the fact is Benitez has been in an impossible job.
Heckled by Chelsea fans since the day of his appointment, Benitez has led the London club into the Champions League next season.
The supporters of the Blues have been unable to get over his former links to Liverpool, a club in which he controversially beat Chelsea in the Champions League semi final on route to winning the trophy.
As a result of the Chelsea supporters petulance Benitez never stood a chance of getting the job on a permanent basis, despite having all the credentials needed.
The facts are that Benitez is a good manager with a proven track record of winning trophies at the top level. One only has to look at the demise of Liverpool as a top 4 club and Champions League contenders since his departure.
Considering the remarkable lack of support for Benitez, he has done an incredible job steering Chelsea on since Roberto Di Matteo’s departure.
As mentioned, he has secured Chelsea’s place in the Champions League, reached the semi final of the FA Cup and now winning the Europa League.
Benitez will be leaving Chelsea in the summer but arguably with an enhanced reputation.
He has dealt with the constant barrage of abuse in a professional manner, keeping his dignity along the way.
There are no doubts that Chelsea will move on as a club, likely with Jose Mourinho at the helm once again, but the way the supports have treated their manager is frankly shambolic and has widely been criticised all around the footballing world.
Another certainty is that Rafa Benitez will soon find another top job and will no doubt lead that team to more glory and success.
With the winning of the Europa League, it seems like Rafa has had the last laugh.