Rafael Benitez has been appointed as the new coach of Napoli, club president Aurelio de Laurentiis announced last night.
The Spaniard, who has left Chelsea following his spell as interim manager at Stamford Bridge, will replace Walter Mazzarri at the Stadio San Paolo this summer. De Laurentiis tweeted a picture of him shaking hands with Benitez on his verified Twitter account, and wrote: “Rafa Benitez is the new coach of Napoli. A great man with international experience. A leader.”
Benitez quickly emerged as the favourite to replace Mazzarri, who resigned from the Serie A runners-up last Sunday night and was confirmed as the new Inter Milan coach on Friday.
Benitez led Chelsea to Europa League glory and a third-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League this season after replacing Roberto Di Matteo in November. The Spaniard won the Champions League while at Liverpool in 2005 and this month’s Europa League triumph was his second win in the competition after he won it with Valencia in 2004 before moving to Anfield.
Benitez’s first job will be attempting to keep hold of star player Edinson Cavani, who has been heavily linked with a move away from Italy this summer.