However, whether he will stay at Anfield to undertake the rebuilding job remains to be seen.
Juventus are reported to be keen on acquiring the services of Benitez, who saw his hopes of leading Liverpool to a third European final under his charge collapse after they had found themselves in such a promising position.
The 50-year-old was cagey about his future, refusing to look any further ahead than the two games his side have left.
"The future is Chelsea. And then Hull," he said.
The exit was a microcosm of Liverpool's season - plenty of effort and some finesse in the first half, Alberto Aquilani providing the latter with a superb finish to put the hosts in front.
Although there were no more goals in normal time, Yossi Benayoun struck at the start of the additional 30 minutes and seemed to have set up an all-English final with Fulham in Hamburg on 12 May.
But former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan wrecked those dreams, leaving Benitez to pick up his players once more, after he ran out of experience to make a difference from the bench.
"Everything seems to have been against the players this season," he said. "It is clear that we had some problems.
"We had too many injuries and were lacking forward options. But the players worked so hard tonight and I am very proud of them.
"Now we have to concentrate and do our best in the next two games."
For Atletico it was a glorious night, allowing them to revel in the joy of becoming the only Spanish side to reach a European final this season.
"No one would have expected this," said coach Quique Sanchez Flores. "We are happy to represent our country and be Spain's only team in a European final.
"It was an amazing night. You can't come to Anfield without knowing you are going to suffer some difficult moments but we were the stronger side in extra-time and deserved to go through."
Now they must deny Fulham a magical end to one of the most incredible seasons in the west London club's history, and Sanchez Flores is wary.
"Never trust any team that goes all the way to the final," he added. "Any English team will be very competitive and Fulham are no exception."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.