Benitez named new Real coach
Rafael Benitez will take charge of Real Madrid next season after the club confirmed he had signed a three-year deal with the Spanish giants on Wednesday.
“Real Madrid will present on Wednesday, Wednesday, June 3, Rafa Benitez as the new coach of the first team for the next three seasons,” the club said in a statement.
Benitez will give a press conference at 1100GMT at the club’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The appointment brings Benitez’s coaching career full circle as he returns to the club where he made his first steps as a youth team coach in the early nineties.
Benitez is also returning to Spain for the first time in over a decade after making a name for himself with two league titles in three years at Valencia between 2001 and 2004.
However, commentators and fans have been skeptical at his appointment at the expense of the well-loved Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked by the club last week.
Ancelotti ended a 12-year wait to land Madrid’s much desired 10th Champions League last season, but paid the price for failing to deliver a major trophy this season with eternal rivals Barcelona on the brink of sealing a treble.
Moreover, Benitez has failed to land a league title in the 11 years since he swapped Valencia for Liverpool. The 55-year-old’s greatest achievement in that time came in winning the Champions League in his first season at Liverpool.
However, he delivered only the UEFA Super Cup and the FA Cup in 2006 in the five years that followed at Anfield.
Benitez then had a nightmare experience following in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan where he lasted just six months and another short-lived unhappy spell at Chelsea followed as he was never accepted by the fans despite winning the Europa League in 2013.
A two-year spell with Italian giants Napoli also came to an unsatisfactory end on Sunday with a 4-2 home defeat to Lazio which ensured they did not qualify for next season’s ChampionsLeague.