Benitez signs three-year deal with Real Madrid

Madrid, June 3 (IANS) Spanish football giants Real Madrid on Wednesday signed Rafael Benitez as their new coach for next three seasons, replacing the sacked Carlo Ancelotti.

The 55-year-old Spaniard was the overwhelming favourite to be handed the role, and he announced last week that he was to end his two-year stint with Napoli after Sunday’s final Serie A game against Lazio.

On Wednesday, Benitez finally signed a three-year contract with the Spanish giants which ties him to the Spanish capital until the summer of 2018.

“Real Madrid will present Rafa Benitez as the new coach for the next three seasons on Wednesday, June 3,” a club statement said on Wednesday.

“The event will take place at 1.pm (Central European Time) CET in the royal box of the (Santiago) Bernabeu, then Rafa Benitez will appear before the media in the press room,” the statement added.

Benitez, who began his coaching career in Real’s youth academy, will return to the Spanish league where he led Valencia to two titles in 2002 and 2004 before joining Liverpool, where he won the 2005 Champions League.

Ancelotti guided Real to their 10th European Champions Leaue title in 2014, but was let go after the team failed to win a major trophy this season.

Benitez is Real’s eighth coach in 10 years. He will be tasked with ending Real’s dismal record of one Spanish title in seven seasons despite counting on Cristiano Ronaldo and record revenues.

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