Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Rafael Benitez will replace Jose Mourinho, who was a hugely successful manager at Inter Milan.
Rafael Benitez will replace Jose Mourinho, who was a hugely successful manager at Inter Milan.
Rafael Benitez will replace Jose Mourinho, who was a hugely successful manager at Inter Milan.

Benitez is Mourinho's successor at Inter

Spaniard set for unveiling next week with the manager's immediate task being to stop players from following Portuguese to Real.

Rafael Benitez has taken on the lofty challenge of matching Jose Mourinho's treble success at Inter Milan after signing a two-year deal with the Italian and European champions yesterday. The Portugese coach left Inter to join Real Madrid last month, days after guiding the club to their first European Cup since 1965. He had earlier brought the Serie A title - Inter's fifth in succession - and Coppa Italia to the San Siro to complete an unprecedented treble in Italian football.

Benitez, 50, had been negotiating with Inter for nearly a week after leaving Liverpool, the English Premier League side, last month and a statement on the club's official website read: "Inter welcomes Rafael Benitez. The Spanish coach signed a two-year contract this morning that will run until June 30, 2012. "Benitez will be unveiled to the media in a press conference on Tuesday, June 15." Benitez arrived at Liverpool in 2004 after spending three seasons at Valencia, where he led the Spanish club to their first league title in 31 years. In his first full season at Anfield, the Spaniard won the Champions League and in 2006 the FA Cup, but the Premier League title eluded him.

Liverpool's last league triumph came in 1990 and pressure had been mounting on Benitez to deliver the championship. This led to clashes between the Spaniard and Liverpool's American owners - Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr - over a perceived lack of transfer funds. Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League last season, missing out on a Champions League spot. That, coupled with early exits from the Champions League and FA Cup, resulted in Benitez's exit from the club after six years.

Massimo Moratti, the Inter president, went for Benitez after their first target Fabio Capello, the England boss, decided to stay with his current job until after the 2012 European Championship. Benitez's first task will be stopping some of Inter's best players from following Mourinho to the Bernabeu. Maicon, the Brazilian right-back, has already said that he wants to move to Real. However, Benitez could also now look to Liverpool for new players, given their financial problems.

Javier Mascherano, the Argentine midfielder, whose negotiations on a new Liverpool contract have been put on hold, praised his former manager earlier this week, saying: "Only Benitez could take the place of a coach like Mourinho. "He is a great coach. He has charisma, personality, a winning mentality." * With agencies

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National