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Benitez confirms Napoli exit

Rafael Benitez has confirmed that he will leave Serie A club Napoli at at the end of the season.

Benitez has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid and the 55-year-old stated he will end his two-year Napoli stay at a news conference on Thursday.

The former Liverpool manager will take charge of the Naples club for the final time on Sunday, when they take on Lazio knowing a win will secure a UEFA Champions League spot at the expense of their opponents.

“I thank the president (Aurelio De Laurentiis), the company and all the fans because after two years I am ending my experience here in Naples.” said Benitez.

“Sunday we will have a very important match and I want to finish my two years with a win.

“It is always sad to leave a place where people treat you well from the start, so it was in Naples.

“The family has been the key to my choice, Napoli and Aurelio have made every effort and we were close to renewal.”

Benitez won the Coppa Italia and secured a third-placed finish in Serie A in his first season in charge.

He then masterminded a Supercoppa Italiana triumph over Juventus last December, but has opted to move on and is widely expected to take over at Santiago Bernabeu.

Sampdoria coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has been tipped as a potential successor to Benitez at Stadio San Paolo.

Thu 28 May, 2015
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