Everton have confirmed the appointment of Rafael Benitez as their new manager on a three-year contract.
After losing Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid recently, Everton have been searching for the right replacement. A number of names were under consideration, but Benitez soon emerged as a strong contender. Despite his past with rivals Liverpool, both parties have come to an agreement.
Everton have confirmed via their club website that Benitez will be in the Goodison Park dugout for the next three seasons. He will begin work on July 5th, when pre-season training commences.
The club confirmed they had spoken with “several candidates”, but opted for Benitez due to his vast experience.
Farhad Moshiri, the Majority Shareholder of Everton, said: “Rafa impressed us greatly with his knowledge and experience but, above all, the passion and hunger he showed to join our Club.
“We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our Club and to Evertonians. To put it simply – we need to be competing at the top-end of the league and to be winning trophies. Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us.”
Chairman Bill Kenwright added: “Rafa Benitez is joining Everton Football Club at an exciting time. On behalf of the Board of Directors I wish him well in achieving success for our football club – success our supporters long for and deserve.”
Benitez has managed three other clubs in the Premier League before. Most famously, he led Liverpool from 2004 to 2010, a spell that included winning the Champions League.
Now, he will be on the other side of the Merseyside divide. It marks a return to English football for the former Chelsea and Newcastle boss, but this time to a destination few could have seen coming before the news of Everton’s interest emerged.
Benitez explains Everton move
Speaking to the club’s in-house media channels, Benitez revealed his excitement for his new challenge.
He said: “You can see the ambition is there. This club is growing.
“For me, it is about bringing the winning mentality, being competitive, so everything is in place on the pitch and off the pitch.
“I love the passion of the people behind the Club. I know the city, I know Scousers, I know what it means for every fan here to compete and to have the chance to win. To come to Everton is something that means a lot, for sure.
“You can see the ambition of the owner, of the Board; everybody wants to be better and to go to the new stadium with a massive boost.
“I like to compete, I like to win. I came from the academy at Real Madrid [as a young player and coach], and the winning mentality is already there.
“We [myself and my coaching staff] have won 13 titles because we have this mentality and I still want to win.
“And I have come to Everton because I liked the idea to be competitive again – and to have the chance to compete in every game, to compete against anyone.”
The Spaniard is not concerned about his Liverpool past affecting the perception of his work, and also clarified comments he made about Everton during his spell at Anfield.
He said: “I have been in Madrid, Naples, Valencia, Tenerife, Extremadura and Liverpool.
“Every single club I was there, I was fighting for them. If you analyse things in the context, what you are expecting from your manager is to fight for your club, and I will do that.
“I am here, I will fight for my club. I will try to win every single game, and it doesn’t matter who the opponents are, or the rivals. It is something you have to do, it is your nature, that you have to try to do your best.
“And why a lot of fans in a lot of these cities love me is because I was giving everything for them. If you analyse this in the context, then it is very clear I will do the same for Everton.”
Benitez’s full backroom team will be confirmed in the coming days. One person who will definitely be part of the setup is Duncan Ferguson. Alan Kelly will also remain at the club.