Football's worst kept secret has been confirmed but is Rafa the right man for Real?

Will he be gone within a year?

Benitez's career matches Real's recent mediocrity.
Benitez's career matches Real's recent mediocrity.
Image: John Walton

FORMER LIVERPOOL MANAGER Rafa Benitez has been officially confirmed as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor at Real Madrid.

In a statement released this morning on the club’s website, Madrid announced Benitez as their new head coach on a three-year contract.

He will be presented to the media at the Bernabeu on Wednesday afternoon.

The vastly experienced Spaniard was immediately installed as the favourite to succeed Ancelotti when the latter parted company with Real last week.

Benitez duly announced that he would leave Serie A side Napoli at the end of the season and he will now be tasked with leading Real to success in La Liga and the Champions League.

A former youth coach at Real, Benitez led Valencia to two Spanish titles prior to a six-year stint at Liverpool highlighted by a memorable Champions League triumph in 2005.

He went on to take charge of Inter and Chelsea, winning the Europa League with the English club, and then guided Napoli to Coppa Italia glory 12 months ago in his first campaign at Stadio San Paolo.

Real finished second in La Liga to Barcelona this season and lost to Juventus in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

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He becomes the seventh manager of the ten-time European champions in the space of nine years.

The La Liga giants have acted swiftly to appoint a new manager but with Benitez not having won a league title in 11 years, is he the right man to guide Real back to the pinnacle of Spanish and European football?

From the moment he steps out in front of the world’s media this afternoon, Benitez will be under intense scrutiny and while he has a proven track record and an esteemed reputation, can he manage the Galacticos?

Poll Results:

Florentino Perez is too fitful and he'll be gone within a year (1232)
It's too early to say (379)
He's got all the credentials and is a perfect fit (307)
He should have returned to Liverpool instead (272)

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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