Rafael Benitez Signature Cup Winner 8x12 Photograph
A signature of Rafael Benitez together with a 8x12 Photograph of Rafa holding a Trophy.
Rafael Benítez Maudes (born 16 April 1960) is a Spanish professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional.
Benítez joined Real Madrid's coaching staff at the age of 26, going on to work as the under-19 and reserve team coach, and assistant manager for the senior team. Benítez moved away from Real Madrid in 1995, but management spells at Real Valladolid and Osasuna were short-lived and unsuccessful. Benítez was appointed coach of Valencia and won La Liga in the 2001–02 season. In 2004, another La Liga league title and a UEFA Cup victory were added building on the foundation laid by Héctor Cúper who had taken Valencia to two consecutive Champions League finals; in 2000 against Real Madrid, and in 2001 against Bayern Munich. After leaving Valencia, Benitez moved to English club Liverpool of the Premier League, guiding the club to victory in the UEFA Champions League in 2005. For the second consecutive season, he was named UEFA Manager of the Year. He also won the FA Cup in 2006 and reached the 2007 Champions League Final, but was unable to win the Premier League, with Liverpool's best league performance under Benítez a second-place finish in 2008–09. After leaving Liverpool in June 2010, Benítez was appointed manager of treble winning side Inter Milan. His reign at the club was a short one and he was dismissed midway through the 2010–11 season. In November 2012, he was appointed interim manager of Chelsea for the remainder of the season and he won the 2013 Europa League. Benítez returned to Italy in 2013 to coach Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. He then left Napoli and became coach of Real Madrid in June 2015 on an initial three-year contract. It was another short-lived appointment and on 4 January 2016, he was dismissed following a 2–2 draw against his old club, Valencia. On 11 March 2016, Benítez was announced as the manager of Newcastle United in an attempt to save the club from relegation. Benítez was unable to avoid relegation, but earned promotion back to the Premier League the following year, winning the Championship. He left the club in June 2019.
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