Newcastle United have appointed Spanish manager Rafa Benitez to keep them in the Premier League, after parting ways with Steve McClaren.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 11, 2016
Sitting in 19th place in the Premier League, the Magpies have just 24 points from 28 games this season – and are a mere eight points above Aston Villa, who are propping up the table during what is most likely their worst season ever.
Rafa Benitez has managed Real Madrid Castilla, Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia, Liverpool, Internazionale, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid – overseeing 961 games, with a win percentage of 50.99% – and a goal difference of +635.
He is most fondly remembered by Valencia and Liverpool fans. He managed the former to two La Liga titles (2001-02 and 2003-04) as well as a UEFA Cup (also 2003-04) before moving to Merseyside and winning the 2004-05 Champions League with the Reds in incredible fashion, as well as the 2005 Community Shield, the 2005-06 FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.
He gained promotion to the top flight whilst managing both Extremadura and Tenerife, too.
Later in his career, as Inter Milan manager, Rafa won the Supercoppa Italiana and the FIFA Club World Cup – before becoming Chelsea’s interim manager and delivering the 2012-13 Europa League to Stamford Bridge.
Following that, he took over at Napoli and won both the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana with them.
If there’s something Benitez likes, it’s silverware.
He’ll obviously be looking to keep the Magpies in the Premier League – but he’ll also think to next season. If survival is ensured and the Spaniard is able to buy who he wants in the summer, Newcastle could find themselves on at least a cup run – and with Benitez’s talents, should finish much more comfortably above the relegation zone next time around.