Soccer

Benitez named Inter coach

2010-06-10 15:48
Rafael Benitez (AFP)

Rome - Spaniard Rafael Benitez has signed a two-year contract to coach Inter Milan until mid-2012, the Italian club said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.

Benitez, 50, will be presented at the Appiano Gentile sports centre near the northern city of Milan on Tuesday.

"Inter welcomes Rafael Benitez. This morning, the two-year deal tying the Spanish coach to the club until June 30, 2012 was finalised with mutual satisfaction," said the statement.

He will take over from Jose Mourinho, who joined Real Madrid after leading the team to a unique treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles last month.

Inter president Massimo Moratti had announced on Tuesday that Inter and Benitez had reached an agreement.

Benitez parted company with Liverpool last week after guiding the English giants to a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season.

The Spanish coach had enjoyed a golden start to his Anfield tenure, inspiring the club to their fifth European Cup title in 2005 as they came back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties on a memorable night in Istanbul.

Benitez is a renowned operator on the European stage, having also led Valencia to UEFA Cup glory in 2004, and his challenge at the San Siro will be to continue the work of Mourinho after the Portuguese ended Inter's 45-year wait for the top prize in club football.

Inter won their fifth successive Italian title last term, but Benitez has been targeted to ensure they remain competitive in continental competition.

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