Date: 19th May 2013 at 9:00pm
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BenitezRafael Benitez did not join the players during Chelsea’s traditional end-of-season lap of honour after the 2-1 victory over Everton today because he wanted the team to enjoy the spotlight.

Ahead of the weekend many speculated whether or not the Spaniard would take part as it was uncertain what sort of reception he would receive considering the reaction to his initial appointment and protest during his turbulent reign.

Of course, things had calmed down in recent months and everyone has just got on with it as Chelsea aimed to finish in the top four and win the Europa League. Both of those objectives were achieved and I reckon we’re two or three wise signings off being title winners next season.

Benitez explained his absence during the lap of honour:

“That part of the game is for the players and their families.

“I received hundreds of messages from Chelsea fans on the website saying ‘Thank you very much’ and that was very positive for me.

“That is enough, and also the players thanking me privately.”

(West London Sport)

In his absence the club’s all-time top goal scorer Frank Lampard addressed the fans whilst Paulo Ferreira said an emotional farewell and thanked the fans for their years of support. As Benitez said, it was moments such as these that warranted the full attention of the fans.

It has been a long season for Chelsea, it’s been a bumpy ride and it is a relief that it is all over but at least it finished on a high note, especially as the fans were treated to Lampard’s contract extension and the prospect of fans’ favourite Jose Mourinho returning to the club.

Chelsea have a busy summer ahead before they focus on the next challenge but will travel across the pond to play Manchester City on Thursday and Saturday, I doubt Benitez would be in charge for the post-season tour but we will likely get an official announcement on his successor shortly after the team return from across the US.

Source: West London Sport