Mel: Benitez urged me to take West Brom job
Mel was unveiled as Albion's new head coach on Thursday - succeeding the sacked Steve Clarke on an 18-month contract - but has been working with the players since Tuesday ahead of Monday's home game against Everton.
He said: "I spoke with Rafa Benitez.
"He was a team-mate of mine at Real Madrid. He really did encourage me to come here over to England. He said it is a club that needs to do a lot of work but has a lot of possibilities to be successful.
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball