Under-pressure Real Madrid head coach Rafael Benitez claims there is a campaign against him, his club and president Florentino Perez.
The former Napoli boss’ position is under scrutiny for his team’s performances and due to their expulsion from the Copa del Rey for fielding the ineligible Denis Cheryshev against Cadiz in the round of 32.
Speaking ahead of Madrid’s home La Liga match against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, Benitez feels stories are consistently being manipulated to target him and the club.
“It is clear there is a campaign against Madrid, against Florentino and against me,” he said at his pre-match media conference.
“Everything that happens here is criticised or manipulated – anyone can appreciate this. I spent 11 years outside of Spain and my career is questioned.
“We know that all of us have to give more, starting with me. I knew from the start I was coming to a club where everything is magnified. I have been 30 years in the dugout and had more than 1,400 games.
“I know how the world of football is and what Real Madrid mean. To solve it you have to concentrate on the job. I know I cannot let myself get distracted.
“I have spoken with [director] Jose Angel Sanchez and with the president. My relationship with them is normal, friendly.
“The team is much better than what people think – that has been reflected in some of the matches.”
Benitez also rejected claims he has a poor relationship with the Madrid dressing room.
He continued: “Every decision I take is considered as a personal decision, so there is a lot of speculation. The campaign is obvious.
“My relationship with the squad is much better than the media say. Some players are happier than others, but this happens in all squads. I can’t waste time on that, I have to bring out the best in them.”