The 61-year-old Spaniard, who spent six years at Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool, replaces Carlo Ancelotti on a three-year deal.
Everton have made a huge statement in appointing former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on a three-year deal. The 61-year-old Spaniard, who spent six years at Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool, replaces Carlo Ancelotti after the Italian resigned from his post to return to Real Madrid on June 1. After leaving Liverpool in 2010, Benitez has managed several clubs in various countries till now. In Italy, he helmed Inter Milan and Napoli, Real Madrid from Spain, Newcastle United from England and most recently Chinese Super League side Dalian Professional.
Speaking about his appointment, Benitez said, “I am delighted to be joining Everton. Throughout this process I have been greatly impressed by the ambition shown by the senior representatives at the Club and their desire to bring success to this historic Club. I believe this is a Club that is going places. I’m determined to play a big part in helping this great Club achieve its ambitions.”
Meanwhile, Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright said on the appointment, “Rafa Benitez is joining Everton Football Club at an exciting time. On behalf of the Board of Directors I wish him well in achieving success for our football club – success our supporters long for and deserve.”
Everton will confirm the staff who will join Duncan Ferguson and Alan Kelly as part of Benitez’s backroom team in the coming days, read a statement from the club’s website.
“Benitez has a hugely impressive track record with the clubs he has managed throughout his career, securing seven major honours including La Liga titles, the Coppa Italia, the FA Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League during managerial spells in Spain, England and Italy,” the statement added.
Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri said the 61-year-old Spaniard’s passion and hunger were one of the key reasons behind his appointment. He said, “Rafa impressed us greatly with his knowledge and experience but, above all, the passion and hunger he showed to join our Club.
“We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our club and to Evertonians. To put it simply – we need to be competing at the top-end of the league and to be winning trophies. Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us.”
Everton finished 10th in the Premier League last season under Ancelotti after a strong start. The last time the club won a trophy was in 1995, when they clinched the FA Cup.
“Over the past few weeks we have conducted a very thorough search for a new manager and, after speaking with several very strong contenders, he stood out as the best candidate,” Moshiri added.
“We wanted a manager with experience of managing at the highest level, who has a strong track record of delivering success, who can work within our structure and who fully buys into our vision for the future. Rafa ticks all of those boxes and he impressed us in the interview process with his passion, his ambition and his vision.”
Benitez will begin working with the team when they return to pre-season training on July 5.