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Rafa Benitez Cheick Tiote.jpg

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Benítez pays tribute to Tioté

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benítez has paid tribute to Cheick Tiote, the former Magpies midfielder who tragically died on Monday at the age of 30.

Benítez - who worked with the Ivory Coast international at the end of the 2015/16 campaign and for the first part of last season - praised his character and professionalism.

He said: "It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick's death.

"In all the time that I have known him, he was a true professional, dedicated and above all, a great man. 

"Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time."​

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