Everton has announced Rafael Benitez as their manager from the 2021/22 English Premier League season after the 61-year-old joined on a three-year deal after previously being unattached following the end of a stint in China with Dalian Professional.
Benitez has been tasked with replacing Carlo Ancelotti, who has gone on to join Real Madrid. The appointment of Benitez comes with a lot of controversy as the Spaniard was in charge of Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool from 2004-2010, leading them to the memorable 2005 UEFA Champions League triumph in Istanbul. Benitez has had stints with Valencia, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Real Madrid and has proven himself as an elite football manager with numerous titles in his kitty.
One of Benitez’s first tasks will be to win over the Everton fans, having been on the other side of the Merseyside divide for so long. The Spaniard is not new to such hostile fans, having been an unpopular figure during the 2012/13 season when he was appointed as interim Chelsea boss. The new Everton boss will hope that he’s able to get the best out of a squad that ran out of steam rather abruptly last season.