Rafael Benitez: Why He Is the Right Appointment for Chelsea in a Time of Turmoil

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Rafael Benitez: Why He Is the Right Appointment for Chelsea in a Time of Turmoil
Tom Shaw/Getty Images
Rafael Benitez has a lot to prove at Chelsea.

There has been a great deal of disagreement over the last few days about the appointment of Rafael Benitez as the interim manager of Chelsea, following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

Many have questioned the decision, saying that the Spaniard does not have the credentials to take the job. I have to disagree. Benitez has an outstanding record as a manager, particularly during his spells at Valencia and Liverpool.

He may have failed at Inter Milan, but following in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho after the success that he had enjoyed was always going to make life difficult for whoever took the job afterwards.

It was his astonishing success at Valenica that put him on the map. He is one of the only managers who has been able to break the monopoly enjoyed by Barcelona and Real Madrid, winning two La Liga titles and adding the UEFA Cup just for good measure.

When Liverpool were looking for a new boss after the dismissal of Gerrard Houllier, it was Benitez they turned to.

In his first season he won the European Cup with a very average Liverpool side following one of the most famous comebacks in history in Istanbul. 3-0 down at halftime they came back to win on penalties. He added the FA Cup and another appearance in a European Cup final and came within four points of winning the elusive title that Liverpool fans so crave.

After leaving the club he has been mainly out of work aside from the six-month spell at Inter. It was about time a manager of his calibre found his way back to a top club. Fernando Torres will be delighted.

With five trophies still to play for this season, it is highly likely that Benitez will add more silverware to his already impressive CV and pave the way for the appointment of Pep Guardiola in the summer of 2013.

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