Jose Mourinho congratulates Rafa Benitez on winning the Europa League

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Congratulations, Rafa. You have proven that you can win the Europa League with the reigning champions of Europe. This is as impressive as Cristiano Ronaldo winning a handsome competition held under a bridge. You did something that should happen. And now you want credit for it like a 15-year-old looking to be commended for not wetting the bed during sleep time. So I will give you as much as you deserve.

People say you have vindicated yourself, Rafa. But what have you done at Chelsea? Win the Premier League twice, the FA Cup once and the League Cup twice? No. That was me. When you rubbed a magic lamp and asked the genie to turn you from a blog person back into a manager last November, Chelsea were four points out of first place and had four trophies to compete for. Then you showed up with your 1998 goatee and everything got worse.

First, you signed a contract to be the "interim manager" even though you did not want to be called "interim." Then you could not fit into any of the club's suits, so you had to wear your own. Then you made everyone think you had a brain glitch when you called Marco Materazzi a liar nine times in 30 seconds. Then you lost in the League Cup, the FA Cup and even the Club World Cup, despite watching my Inter win it in person in 2010. And in the Premier League, you struggle to finish third, 16 points behind Manchester United. That is four times more than four. Or four times the number of different countries in which I have won domestic titles. In case your forgot, you still just have Spain. I have a tiny piece of paper that says all of this.

You were supposed to fix Fernando Torres. He had six goals in the Eurjoke-a League, yes. But in the Premier League, he has not scored since December. He has seven goals. One more than last season. If anything, you have him fixed like a neutered labradoodle. Speaking of the Europa League, you beat four clubs that couldn't buy lunch at Chelsea's training ground and then one that has lost seven European finals in a row. This is how you finally won a trophy, Rafa. And you did this with a team that has regularly reached the final rounds of the Champions League in recent years, regardless of whether the manager can button his pants or not.

Is this vindication? If a chef gets a bad review and then heats up a frozen pizza without burning it, is it vindication? You have done the bare minimum with the talented team at your disposal and so you get the bare minimum credit. You didn't burn the pizza. Congratulations. Now get out of my seat and start rubbing your magic lamp again.

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