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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 13:30 UK

Rafael Benitez named as new coach of Inter Milan

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez
Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has been confirmed as the new manager of Italian giants Inter Milan.

The Spaniard, 50, has signed a two-year contract to take charge at the reigning European and Serie A champions.

"Inter welcome Rafael Benitez," the club said in a statement, adding the new coach would be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday, 22 June.

Benitez left Liverpool last week after six years in charge, and replaces Jose Mourinho who has joined Real Madrid.

He won the two La Liga titles and a Uefa Cup with Valencia before moving to Anfield and winning the Champions League the following year in 2005. He also took Liverpool to the 2007 final.

But Benitez faces a tough task following the flamboyant Mourinho at the San Siro.

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Under the Portuguese, Inter won the Italian league twice, as well as the Champions League and Italian Cup last season.

And even before Mourinho took charge, Inter had won three consecutive titles under Manchester City's current manager Roberto Mancini.

Towards the end of last season, when it looked likely that Benitez could be leaving Liverpool, he was strongly linked with Inter's rivals Juventus, before they appointed Luigi del Neri.

However Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano, one of Benitez's former players at Liverpool, has previously backed the Spaniard to be successful in Serie A.

"Only Benitez could take the place of a coach like Mourinho," said Mascherano. "He is a great coach. He has charisma, personality, a winning mentality.

"Moreover, he will find himself brilliantly in Italy because of the tactical game. Rafa studies everything on the table and directs the team from the bench like an orchestra conductor.

"After Mourinho, he is the only man capable of continuing Inter's winning run."



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see also
Benitez's Hillsborough donation
10 Jun 10 |  Liverpool
Hiddink 'will not join Liverpool'
05 Jun 10 |  Liverpool
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez reign at Liverpool ends
03 Jun 10 |  Liverpool
Capello commits future to England
02 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Mourinho unveiled as boss of Real
31 May 10 |  Europe
Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter Milan
22 May 10 |  Europe
Mourinho v Benitez
24 Apr 07 |  Europe


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