Rafael Benitez has been appointed interim Chelsea manager.
Rafael Benitez has been appointed interim manager of
European champions Chelsea until the end of the season, 10
hours after the club announced the sacking of Roberto Di
Spaniard Benitez, the former Valencia, Liverpool and Inter
Milan coach, becomes the ninth manager under Russian owner
He will be tasked with salvaging their season after a run of
two wins from their last eight games left them off the pace
in the Premier League and facing elimination at the group
stage of the Champions League six months after winning the
ultimate club trophy for the first time.
"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," Chelsea said in a statement.
The 52-year-old is due to meet the players at the club's
training ground on Thursday, when there could be some
interesting exchanges on the back of his lengthy and often
fiery rivalry with Chelsea during his six years in charge of
During that time he won the 2005 Champions League, following
the "miracle of Istanbul" when Liverpool came from 3-0 down
to AC Milan at halftime to draw 3-3 and win on penalties.
They also reached the final in 2007, losing to Milan having
beaten Chelsea in the semi-finals, and won the FA Cup in
At Valencia, Benitez won the Spanish league twice and the
UEFA Cup but he has been without a club since being sacked by
Inter in December 2010 after six months in the job.
Local media speculation was that Chelsea would appoint a
temporary manager to fill the gap until former Barcelona boss
Pep Guardiola potentially becomes available following a
one-year sabbatical from the game.