Napoli Appoints Benitez As Head Coach On a Two- Year Contract.

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Rafael Benitez.
Rafael Benitez.

Rafael Benitez will join Napoli at the summer on a two- year contract. The 53- year- old will replace Walter Mazzari, who has joined Inter Milan.

Napoli finished second in the Italian Serie A last season and has qualified for next season’s Champions league.

“I am very happy and very satisfied for having committed to a great club with illustrious heritage like Napoli,” said Benitez.

“I understand the history of the City and how the club forms a fundamental part of the culture and traditions of Naples.

“I must confess that I am extremely excited because I can share my passion for football with the fans of Napoli; it is proven that they are very, very special.

“I look forward to experiencing each and every one of the fans of Napoli and their strong support for this project that will begin.”

The Spaniard’s interim spell as Chelsea manager will come to its end this summer. He twice won La Liga titles with Valencia and one UEFA Cup.

He took charge of Liverpool in 2004, guided the Anfield club to Champions League glory the next year, becoming the only manager to win the Champions League a season after winning the UEFA Cup. In 2006, Liverpool won the FA Cup under Benitez.

But he parted ways with the Reds in June 2010, after six years at the club before taking over at Inter a week later- a Club in which he lasted just over six months, despite securing the Club World Cup.

Nearly two years out of club management, Rafa returned as Chelsea interim manager, following consideration from former Nigeria international Mike Emenalo (sporting director at Chelsea), who made his choice known to Roman Abramovich- and the Russian billionaire stuck to his choice.

Benitez guided the Blues to the Europa League trophy this season, while a third- place finish in the Premier League ensured the Stamford Bridge outfit would play in the Champions League next season.

Chelsea also lost the final of the Club World Cup to South American champions Corinthians, lost the semi- finals of the FA Cup and the League Cup to Manchester City and Swansea respectively under the Rafa.

Napoli club president Aurelio De Laurentis first made the appointment public when he posted a picture on Twitter of himself shaking hands with Benitez.

“Rafa Benitez is the new coach of Napoli,” he tweeted. “A man of great international experience. A leader.”

The Spaniard was thought to have been the favourite for the vacant job at Everton, after Moyes’ departure.

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