Benitez fires parting shot at Newcastle as China move is confirmed

Rafael Benitez took a thinly-veiled swipe at his former employers as the Spaniard was confirmed as the next managerial appointment of Chinese side Dalian Yifang.

The Spaniard’s Newcastle contract ended on Sunday, with Benitez saying he and the club’s hierarchy had been unable to find a shared vision for the future.

The 59-year-old is unsurprisingly back in work already, posting on social media on Tuesday that he has joined Chinese Super League side Dalian.

Benitez took to Twitter with a short video to announce his arrival with the Liaoning Province-based team, stating: “After a long path… We start a new challenge! I’m happy to begin this new project with Dalian Yifang”.

Benitez officially left Newcastle on Sunday after talks over a contract extension ultimately failed to reach a successful conclusion, much to the fury of fans who had taken him to their hearts.

He can now add Dalian to a resume which started as a manager in 1993 and has taken in the likes of Real Valladolid, Osasuna, Tenerife, Valencia, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli, as well as Liverpool and Real.

Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, while also securing European honours with Valencia and Chelsea.

The Spaniard later confirmed on his official website that he will be the club’s manager after signing a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Benitez said: “I have had offers of greater financial significance during my career, but they weren’t the project I was looking for.


“What I have found at Dalian is an incredible project that has arrived at the perfect time and this has been a major factor in my decision.”

In a not-so-thinly veiled dig at former boss Mike Ashley, Benitez quipped: “We’ve accepted the challenge of leading a superb project with the full backing and confidence of the club’s leadership team.”

Benitez will be assisted in China by the staff he brought to Newcastle – Paco de Miguel, Mikel Antia and Antonio Gomez – with Croatian Darko Matic, who has 10 years’ worth of experience as a player in the Super League, joining them.


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