FC Internazionale Milano and Rafael Benítez have reached an agreement to terminate the Spanish coach's contract less than a week after the Nerazzurri won the FIFA Club World Cup.
Benítez, who joined Inter in the summer as Real Madrid CF-bound José Mourinho's replacement, was due to remain at San Siro until 2012. "Inter can announce that an agreement has been reached to the satisfaction of both parties," read a club statement. "Inter thank the coach for the victories achieved together and for the professional relationship we shared."
The 50-year-old, who won two Spanish Liga titles and a UEFA Cup during his time at Valencia CF, as well as the 2005 UEFA Champions League while at Liverpool FC, took over from Mourinho following the Nerazzurri's historic treble in 2009/10. Inter won Serie A and the Coppa Italia to add to their triumph in Europe's premier club competition.
Benítez initially picked up from where Mourinho had left off by winning the Italian Super Cup against AS Roma. Inter then lost the UEFA Super Cup, however, and after struggling with form and injury they lie seventh in Serie A, 13 points adrift of leaders AC Milan having played two games fewer.
Last week's FIFA Club World Cup triumph brought some joy, and Benítez guided the holders through to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 as Group A runners-up behind Tottenham Hotspur FC. Inter will now meet FC Bayern München at home on 23 February before the return encounter on 15 March.
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