Former Inter Milan, Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez will return to Italy to take charge of Serie A club Napoli.
“Rafa Benitez is the new manager of Napoli,” club president Aurelio De Laurentiis said on his Twitter feed on Monday. The Spaniard replaces Walter Mazzarri who quit after the team finished second behind Juventus in Serie A this season to qualify for the Champions League. Mazzarri was in charge for just under four years, building a strong attacking side which twice qualified for the Champions League and won the Italian Cup in 2012. He said on resigning that he felt he had taken Napoli as far as he could. Benitez was in charge of Inter for the first half of the 2010-11 season after replacing treble-winning Jose Mourinho. With the team lying a modest sixth in December of that season, the Spaniard’s job was under threat, but he appeared to earn a reprieve when he led them to victory in the Club World Cup in Japan. Benitez then angered Inter owner Massimo Moratti by demanding reinforcements and was sacked before Christmas.