Real Madrid have confirmed that Rafael Benitez is their new coach, replacing the sacked Carlo Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 55-year-old Spaniard was the overwhelming favourite to be handed the role, and he announced last week that he was to end his two-year stint with Napoli after Sunday’s final Serie A game against Lazio.
Madrid vice-president Eduardo Fernandez de Blas then admitted hours before Napoli’s 4-2 loss that Benitez would be their next coach, telling a group of club members: “Until three days ago Ancelotti was the best coach in the world, as Jose Mourinho was two years ago and from this week onwards it will be Rafa Benitez.”
And on Wednesday, Benitez finally signed a contract with the Blancos which ties him to the Spanish capital until the summer of 2018.
“Real Madrid will present Rafa Benitez as the new coach for the next three seasons on Wednesday, June 3,” a club statement read.
“The event will take place at 13:00CET in the Royal Box of the Bernabeu, then Rafa Benitez will appear before the media in the press room.”
Benitez takes over at the Bernabeu following the exit of Ancelotti, who was relieved of his duties after failing to win either the Champions League or La Liga in 2014-15.
The ex-Liverpool manager returns to Spain after an absence of 11 years – having previously won two La Liga titles with Valencia in the first half of the last decade.