Liverpool has confirmed that Rafa Benitez is leaving the club by mutual consent.
“Rafa will forever be part of Liverpool folklore after bringing home the Champions League following the epic final in Istanbul but after a disappointing season both parties felt a fresh start would be best for all concerned,” said Liverpool FC Chairman Martin Broughton.
In a prepared statement on the club’s website, Benitez said, “Rafael Benitez said: “It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC. I would like to thank all of the staff and players for their efforts. I’ll always keep in my heart the good times I’ve had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool. I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You’ll never walk alone.”
The Liverpool board has now asked Managing Director Christian Purslow, with the assistance of Club Ambassador Kenny Dalglish, to begin a formal search to identify and assess potential candidates for the managerial position.
Benitez’s departure from Liverpool is the end of an era for the Merseyside club who achieved the incredible success of winning the Champions League Final in one of the most amazing matches ever in 2005. And then nearly won it again when they lost against AC Milan in the 2007 Final when the Reds lost 2-1.
In the meantime, it looks like Benitez is the favorite to become the new manager at Inter Milan.
What’s your opinion about the news? While I’ve been a big critic of Benitez this season, I’ve been an admirer of his accomplishments during his six year tenure at Liverpool. But his departure from the club was necessary after it seemed that this season, the players stopped playing for him. Plus, not qualifying for the Champions League is a massive financial blow for the Reds.