Benitez is new Chelsea boss

19:34 21 November 2012

Rafael Benitez. Photo credit: Neal Simpson/EMPICS

Rafael Benitez. Photo credit: Neal Simpson/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Chelsea have moved quickly to install former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez as their new manager, less than 24 hours after sacking Roberto Di Matteo.

The Spaniard was the bookmakers’ favourite to become the Blues’ ninth manager in nine years and will take control as interim manager until the end of the season.

Yet the length of Benitez’s contract appears the clearest indication yet of Abramovich’s determination to land former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola once he completes his one-year sabbatical.

Tonight’s announcement was also the culmination of a breathless 24-hour period that was extraordinary even by Chelsea’s standards.

What began last night with Di Matteo finally axing Fernando Torres against Juventus, ended this evening with the arrival of the man who made the £50million flop one of the best strikers in the world but became a man largely disliked among his new club’s supporters.

In between all that, Di Matteo joined the ever-increasing list of men to be ruthlessly sacked by Abramovich, who is now on his ninth manager in a little over eight years.

In a statement, Chelsea said: ‘The owner and the Board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives.

‘The 52-year-old Spaniard is due to meet the players at the training ground in Cobham tomorrow.

‘The two-time UEFA Manager of the Year comes with outstanding pedigree. He began his managerial career in his homeland, most notably at Valencia where he built a reputation as one of Europe’s top coaches by winning the Spanish League twice and the UEFA Cup.

‘He then spent six years at Liverpool and led them to their fifth European Cup and an FA Cup.’

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Chelsea news

Saturday, September 5, 2015
Paul Pogba, Juventus (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

The window may be closed but the fall-out continues from a busy summer. Here is our handy round-up.

Saturday, September 5, 2015
Dimitri Payet of West Ham United  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Our reporter and West Ham fan Brad Pinard has been impressed with the Hammers’ summer business, but is worried by the bigger picture.

Saturday, September 5, 2015
The players of England warm up on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

England take on San Marino this evening in what should be a comfortable night.

Friday, September 4, 2015
Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea in action (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Cesc Fabregas has had a disappointing start to the new Premier League season.

Friday, September 4, 2015
Manager of Crystal Palace Alan Pardew   (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Crystal Palace will finish fifth in the Premier League this season.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Read more
Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more