Rafael Benitez was appointed interim manager of European champions
Chelsea until the end of the season on Wednesday, 10 hours after the
club announced the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.
Benitez, the former Valencia, Liverpool and Inter Milan coach, becomes
the ninth manager under Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
will be tasked with salvaging their season after a run of two wins from
their last eight games left them off the pace in the Premier League and
facing elimination at the group stage of the Champions League six
months after winning the ultimate club trophy for the first time.
owner and the Board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with
significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in
and immediately help deliver our objectives," Chelsea said in a
The 52-year-old is
due to meet the players at the club's training ground on Thursday, when
there could be some interesting exchanges on the back of his lengthy
and often fiery rivalry with Chelsea during his six years in charge of
During that time
he won the 2005 Champions League, following the "miracle of Istanbul"
when Liverpool came from 3-0 down to AC Milan at halftime to draw 3-3
and win on penalties.
They also reached the final in 2007, losing to Milan having beaten Chelsea in the semi-finals, and won the FA Cup in 2006.
Valencia, Benitez won the Spanish league twice and the UEFA Cup but he
has been without a club since being sacked by Inter in December 2010
after six months in the job.
media speculation on Wednesday was that Chelsea would appoint a
temporary manager to fill the gap until former Barcelona boss Pep
Guardiola potentially becomes available following a one-year sabbatical
from the game.
Champions want to roll on
Centre-back "fit enough" if not 100%
Former Chelsea and Liverpool boss poised to join Napoli, says Serie A club's president
Legend tips underdog
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010