Rafael "Rafa" Benítez Maudes (Spanish pronunciation: [rafaˈel ˈrafa βeˈniteθ ˈmauðes]; born 16 April 1960) is a Spanish football coach currently managing Newcastle United. He is the only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Benítez joined Real Madrid's coaching staff at the age of 26, going on to work as the under-19 and reserve team coach, and assistant manager for the senior team. Benítez moved away from Real Madrid, but management spells at Real Valladolid and Osasuna were short-lived and unsuccessful. Benítez guided Segunda División side Extremadura back to the Primera División in his first season in 1997, but the team was relegated the following season. He left the club, and coached Tenerife in 2000, winning promotion in his only season.
Benítez was appointed coach of Valencia and he proved himself to be amongst the top Spanish managers by winning La Liga in the 2001–02 season. In 2004, another La Liga league title and a UEFA Cup victory were added.
Following his successful season, the Spaniard then moved to English club Liverpool of the Premier League, guiding the club to victory in the UEFA Champions League in 2005. For the second consecutive season, he was named UEFA Manager of the Year. He also won the FA Cup in 2006 and reached the 2007 Champions League Final, but remained unable to win the Premier League, with Liverpool's best league performance under Benítez a second-place finish in 2008–09.
After leaving Liverpool in June 2010, Benítez managed Inter Milan, whom he guided to the Supercoppa Italiana and FIFA Club World Cup titles, but was dismissed midway through the 2010–11 season. In November 2012 he was appointed interim manager of Chelsea for the remainder of the season, with which he won the 2013 Europa League.
Benítez returned to Italy in 2013 to coach Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. Benítez then left Napoli and became coach of Real Madrid in June 2015 on an initial three-year contract. On 4 January 2016, however, he was dismissed following a 2–2 draw against Valencia, with Real Madrid third in La Liga behind Barcelona and Atlético Madrid.
On 11 March 2016, Benítez was announced as the manager of Newcastle United.Close