As anticipated last week, SSC Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis announced the name of his new coach via Twitter: UEFA Europa League winner Rafael Benítez will manage the Partenopei next season.
Benítez will return to Serie A after coaching FC Internazionale Milano during the first half of the 2010/11 campaign, leaving the Nerazzurri days after helping them lift the FIFA Club World Cup. "Rafa Benítez is the new Napoli coach," read De Laurentiis's statement, with a picture of the president shaking hands with the Spaniard. "A man with great international experience, a leader." Benítez replaces Walter Mazzarri who resigned last Monday and was subsequently appointed by Inter.
The 53-year-old won the Spanish Liga twice and the 2004 UEFA Cup with Valencia CF, before leading Liverpool FC to UEFA Champions League glory in 2005. He took over at Chelsea FC last November, his first assignment after the Inter job, and guided the Londoners to third place in the Premier League and victory in this month's UEFA Europa League final.
Benítez will be back on the UEFA Champions League scene next term: his predecessor Mazzarri steered Napoli to second place in Serie A, nine points behind champions Juventus.
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