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Benitez excited by Madrid opportunity

Rafael Benitez left Naples on Monday, declaring his excitement at the prospect of taking charge at Real Madrid.

Benitez confirmed last week that he would leave Napoli after two seasons at Stadio San Paolo – having been installed as the firm favourite to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spaniard’s final game in Serie A was a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Lazio, which saw Gonzalo Higuain’s missed penalty spark a late collapse as Napoli missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification.

Less than 24 hours after that defeat, Benitez set off for Madrid, where he is set to be confirmed as Ancelotti’s successor.

AS quote Benitez as saying: “I am ready, I can’t wait to be there.”

A former youth coach at Real, Benitez led Valencia to two Spanish titles prior to a six-year stint at Liverpool highlighted by a memorable Champions League triumph in 2005.

He went on to take charge of Inter and Chelsea, winning the UEFA Europa League with the English club, and then guided Napoli to Coppa Italia glory 12 months ago in his first campaign at the San Paolo.

Mon 1 Jun, 2015
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