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Emotional Benitez named Real Madrid coach

03 June 2015, 20:32

Madrid - Rafael Benitez was overcome with emotion as he was presented as the new coach of Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The former Liverpool boss has signed a three-year deal to take charge of the club where he began his coaching career in the youth ranks during the early nineties.

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"It is a special, emotional day for me. I have worked for many years trying to be successful to be able to return here," said the 55-year-old.

Madrid president Florentino Perez has been heavily criticised for sacking Carlo Ancelotti just a year after he won the club's long-awaited 10th European Cup.

However, he claimed Benitez was the right man for the job, hailing him as one of the world's best coaches.

"We start a new era with the full confidence that the arrival of our new coach will make us stronger," said Perez.

"Your name is a guarantee of hard work. We have one of the best coaches in the world."

Benitez is returning to Spain for the first time in over a decade after making a name for himself with two league titles in three years at Valencia between 2001 and 2004.

Yet, he has failed to land a league title in the 11 years since he swapped Valencia for Liverpool.

Benitez's greatest achievement in that time came in winning the Champions League in his first season at Liverpool. However, he delivered only the UEFA Super Cup and the FA Cup in 2006 in the five years that followed at Anfield.

A nightmare experience followed at Inter Milan where he lasted only six months as Jose Mourinho's successor and another short-lived unhappy spell at Chelsea followed as he was never accepted by the fans despite winning the Europa League in 2013.

A two-year spell with Italian giants Napoli also came to an unsatisfactory end on Sunday with a 4-2 home defeat to Lazio which ensured they did not qualify for next season's Champions League.

And Benitez is fully aware that he has to deliver success immediately if his stint in his dream job isn't to be a short one.

"Undoubtedly this is the highest quality squad I have coached," he added.

"It is different to when I arrived at Liverpool. There was a project there for three years to compete and try to win something. Thankfully, in the first year we won the Champions League.

"Here we need to compete and win from the first moment. We have to always be competing and we will only be satisfied with victory. The expectations are very different, they are much higher than when I arrived a Liverpool."

Many of Real's stars, including World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, took to social media to show their appreciation of Ancelotti before and after his dismissal.

However, Benitez is confident that won't manifest itself into a negative reaction towards him and his technical team.

"It is normal that the players show their warmth to Carlo, who is a great coach and person.

"I have spoken with him and I hold him in the highest esteem."

Benitez wasn't so forthcoming, though, on which players he would like to see arrive at the Bernabeu in the close season.

"Madrid are a very big club who are always in the market for players.

"But I repeat we have a great squad. Real Madrid have to play as well as they can to win and have a clear idea of what they have to do. They have to be competitive. When you're at Madrid you have to attack and win.

"I've got all the enthusiasm in the world. I've come to work hard, the club has a structure and if we bring in players then great. We'll talk about the finer details in the future."



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