Real Madrid expected to present Rafa Benitez as manager

Rafael Benitez is expected to be officially presented as Real Madrid manager next Wednesday, according to Spanish journalist Josep Pedrerol.

The host of the television programs Jugones and El Chiringuito revealed that the Napoli coach will be unveiled as Real Madrid’s new boss at the Santiago Bernabeu on June 3 at 13:00 CET (8:00am EST).

Benitez will assume control of the La Liga club just under two weeks after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked as manager.

Ancelotti was presented as Real Madrid boss  in June 2013 and led the team through the best calendar year in club history. In 2014, his players won the Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

However, the second half of this season saw the team knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Atletico Madrid, crash out of the Champions League at the hands of Juventus while being trumped by Barcelona to the La Liga title.

 

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In the days prior to Ancelotti’s termination, Benitez was tipped to be named the Italian tactician’s successor in the Spanish capital, with widespread reports believing club president Florentino Perez had initiated contact with the Napoli coach.

Benitez, a Real Madrid fan, started his coaching career with the club’s youth team and served as Vicente del Bosque’s assistant with the first-team in 1994. The 55-year-old has also coached Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Chelsea.

Earlier today, Benitez confirmed he would leave Napoli following Sunday’s final Serie A game against Lazio, which has massive implications towards the club’s Champions League qualification for next season.

Napoli will enter Sunday’s game knowing a win will secure third place and qualify the club for the Champions League play-off round in August, as only the top three qualify in Italy.

 

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