Everton appoints former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez as new manager

Rafael Benitez joins Everton on a three-year deal and will commence work with the squad when it returns to USM Finch Farm for pre-season training from 5 July.

Rafael Benitez has won seven major honours in his managerial career so far, including La Liga, Coppa Italia, FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League titles (File Photo).   -  AP

Everton has appointed former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez as its new manager, with the Spaniard signing a three-year deal, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

Everton has been looking for a new manager since Carlo Ancelotti, who led the team to a 10th-place finish in the Premier League last season, returned to Real Madrid for a second spell.

"The appointment of Benitez comes after a robust and wide-reaching recruitment process by the club over the past three weeks – a process which has included multiple interviews with several candidates," the PL side said in a statement.

 

Benitez said he was delighted. "Throughout this process I have been greatly impressed by the ambition shown by the senior representatives at the club and their desire to bring success to this historic club," he said.

"I believe this is a club that is going places. I'm determined to play a big part in helping this great club achieve its ambitions."

Benitez managed Everton's Merseyside rival Liverpool from 2004-2010, leading it to Champions League glory in 2005 and the FA Cup the following season. He also led Chelsea to the Europa League title in 2013 as its interim manager.

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After two seasons with Napoli and a brief stint with Real Madrid, where he was sacked midway through his first season, Benitez returned to England and took charge of Newcastle United which was staring at relegation in March 2016.

Although the club was eventually relegated to the second-tier Championship, Benitez brought it back up the next season. But friction between him and club owner Mike Ashley led to his departure in 2019.

Benitez moved to the Chinese Super League where he managed Dalian Professional, but left in January citing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Everton said assistant manager Duncan Ferguson and Alan Kelly would join Benitez's backroom staff.

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