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Benítez to take charge at Inter

FC Internazionale Milano president Massimo Moratti has announced that Rafael Benítez will coach the European champions next season, just five days after the Spaniard left Liverpool FC.

Benítez to take charge at Inter
Benítez to take charge at Inter ©UEFA.com

Five days after ending his six-year reign at Liverpool FC, Rafael Benítez has been confirmed as the new coach of FC Internazionale Milano by club president Massimo Moratti, joining the UEFA Champions League winners on a two-year contract.

"We have reached an agreement and we have sorted out all the last missing pieces," Moratti said in a statement on Inter's official website. "Tomorrow we will announce when Benítez will be unveiled to the press."

The Spaniard parted company with Liverpool last Thursday and has quickly found new employers, though he has some big shoes to fill having replaced José Mourinho, who joined Real Madrid CF after leading the Nerazzurri to the UEFA Champions League, Scudetto and Coppa Italia last season.

Moratti was disappointed to see Mourinho leave so soon after his side's 2-0 UEFA Champions League final triumph over FC Bayern München, but is convinced he has found the right successor. "I can only say good things about him because he is a great coach," he said. "After all he defeated Mourinho five times in the past."

Benítez first endeared himself to Inter fans after masterminding Liverpool's shock 2005 UEFA Champions League final victory over the Nerazzurri's rivals AC Milan in in his first season in charge at Anfield. That proved to the high point of his reign, although he did take Liverpool back to the UEFA Champions League final in 2007 only for the Rossoneri to get their revenge in Athens.

Under Benítez, Liverpool also won the FA Cup in 2006, but the Spaniard was unable deliver the Premier League title, coming closest in 2008/09 when his side finished runners-up behind Manchester United FC. They fell well short of that mark this season, however, ending up seventh in the Premier League and exiting the UEFA Champions League at the end of the group stage.

Prior to joining Liverpool, the 50-year-old Benítez twice led Valencia CF to the Spanish Liga title, in 2001/02 and 2003/04, winning the UEFA Cup in that final season at the Mestalla as well.