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Luiz Thanks 'Amazing' Rafa

There were placards in support of Rafa Benitez at Stamford Bridge for a change, after Chelsea’s weekend win over Everton.

"Thank you Rafa," they read. "We forgive you."

The result ensured that the Blues finished the season in third place on the Premier League log, with automatic qualification into next season’s Champions League.

The cherry on top is the Europa League trophy in the Stamford Bridge cabinet, secured against Benfica last week.

Apart from achieving the targets set for him by the Chelsea hierarchy, Rafa also managed to coax the best out of a talented squad that had seemed to run out of steam and cohesion when he took over.

The blossoming of David Luiz is especially something Benitez can take credit for.

The eccentric Brazilian has developed from a mistake-prone utility defender into a world class central midfielder under Rafa’s watch.

And Luiz has thanked Benitez for what the Spaniard has meant for his career personally, for Chelsea’s ultimately successful season in general.

"He was an amazing coach for the team and for me personally," Luiz told the British media, according to Sky Sports.

"I learnt a lot from him.

"People said bad things about him but not many coaches can do what he does.

"He goes with a title and with us in the Champions League next year. The coach will change but the mentality must be the same."

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