Rafael Benitez will take charge of Real Madrid next season, after the club confirmed he had signed a three-year deal with the Spanish giants on Wednesday. Despite getting a team of stars, a tough task awaits him.
Spaniard Rafael Benitez is set to take on the most expensive football squad in the world, when he begins his coaching stint at Real Madrid in the next few days.
The club has confirmed that Benitez would have his first press conference at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on Wednesday and that he would be "the new coach of the first team for the next three seasons."
The appointment brings Benitez's coaching career full circle as he returns to the club where he started as a youth team coach in the early 1990s.
Benitez is also returning to Spain for the first time in over a decade after making a name for himself with two league titles in three years at Valencia between 2001 and 2004.
Tough challenge for Ancelotti's replacement
But, Benitez - who resigned as coach of Italian club Napoli on May 28 - could have his work cut out winning over Real's horde of demanding fans, who were very much against previous coach Carlo Ancelotti's sacking.
"Great coach and amazing person. Hope we work together next season," World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo posted on his official Twitter days before the Italian's dismissal.
A number of other high profile Real players, including Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, also took to social media to thank Ancelotti for his time at the club. Ancelotti guided Madrid to its 10th European Cup title in 2014, but was let go after the team failed to win a major trophy this season.
In contrast to Ancelotti, Benitez is known for putting a strong emphasis on discipline and tactics, something which could test the patience of the star-studded Madrid squad. The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss will be the eighth coach of the Spanish giants in 10 years.
al/msh (AFP, AP)