Madrid: Rafael Benitez was presented on Wednesday as Real Madrid’s new head coach for the next three seasons, replacing Carlo Ancelotti.
“At Real Madrid, the demand is highest and our history has taught us that nothing is enough. Today, we begin a new era with the full conviction that the arrival of our new coach will make us stronger,” Real president Florentino Perez said during the presentation, held in the presidential box of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
“Today is an exciting day to come back here to my house. Hopefully we win titles,” the Madrid-born Benitez said.
An export from Italian side Napoli, the 55-year-old tactician has won everything on the international stage: A Champions League, a Club World Cup, a European Super Cup and two Europa League titles stand proudly in his extensive collection of trophies, which also includes two La Liga titles, reports Efe.
He left Real in 1995 and continued his coaching career with Valladolid, Osasuna and Extremadura. After gaining promotion to the Spanish topflight with Tenerife, he signed for Valencia in 2001. During his three years with the club he won two La Liga titles and one Europa League.
He took charge of Liverpool in the summer of 2004 and the team was crowned the European champion during his first year there, while he was also named UEFA Manager of the Year in 2004 and 2005.
His next project was at Inter Milan, where he won the Club World Cup and the Italian Super Cup, and later made his way back to England in 2012 to take over at Chelsea, where once again he lifted a continental title during his first season in charge: the Europa League.
His last job was at Napoli, where he won the Italian Cup and the Super Cup during his two seasons with the club.
Perez admired the new coach’s qualifications, describing him as “a man who has lived and breathed football, professionalism and ‘Madridismo’ since he was a kid. He dreamed of this moment and now it has come. His name is synonymous with hard work, excitement and effort”.