Benitez to Quit Napoli at the End of the Season

Rafael Benitez has confirmed he will bid his final farewell to Italian club Napoli at the end of the final game of the Serie A season on Sunday.

The 55-year-old joined the Naples outfit in May 2013, guiding them to an Italian Cup triumph in his first season and winning the Italian Super Cup the following year.

“I want to thank the chairman, club and fans because after two years my experience here in Napoli is coming to an end,” said Benitez.

“On Sunday, we have a very important match and I want to finish my two years with a victory.”

He added: “The family has been the key to my choice. Napoli and [president] Aurelio [De Laurentiis] have made every effort and we were close to renewal.”

Rafael Benitez Posses for a Snap Shot With His First Trophy as Napoli Boss.
Rafael Benitez Posses for a Snap Shot With His First Trophy as Napoli Boss.

The former Inter Milan and Chelsea manager is said to be in line for Real Madrid job following the sack of Carlo Ancelotti.

The Spaniard refused to shed light on his future and his rumoured departure to the Santiago Bernebeu, where he had previous stints with the club’s Under-19 setup and as an assistant at Real Madrid Castilla.

Napoli are fourth in the Italian top flight and host third-placed Lazio in Sunday’s season finale needing to win to keep their hopes of playing in the Uefa Champions League alive.

Benitez’s side are three points behind their Rome rivals and a win would see them qualify for Europe’s flagship club competition on the basis of a better head-to-head record.

Benitez had successful spell as coach of La Liga outfit Valencia, where he won Spanish Primeira titles and the Uefa League (now Europa Cup), before arriving in England to coach Liverpool- a club he led to Champions League glory in 2005.

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