BLUES BOSS: Rafael Benitez named as new manager
Everton Football Club have confirmed the appointment of Rafael Benitez as the Club’s new manager.
The Spaniard joins the Club on a three-year deal and will commence work with the squad when they return to USM Finch Farm for pre-season training from 5 July. The appointment of Benitez comes after a three week recruitment process.
New manager Rafael Benitez has pledged to show the same fighting spirit for Everton as he did for Liverpool when he made his "small club" comments.
The Spaniard's appointment on a three-year contract, becoming only the second man to manage both Merseyside clubs and the first ex-Reds boss to do so, is a controversial one by owner Farhad Moshiri.
He antagonised fans with his "small club" jibe after a 2007 Merseyside derby and although in subsequent years he has sought to clarify he was referring to them having the mentality of a small team in their approach to the game, it has not been forgiven or forgotten in some quarters.
But Benitez, who won the Champions League and FA Cup with Liverpool in 2005 and 2006 before leaving in 2010, insists he was only doing what he believed was right for his club at the time.
Benitez is the fifth manager the Everton owner has appointed in five years after sacking the current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez in May 2016. However, he is only the second to cross Merseyside, following in the footsteps of William Edward Barclay, who made the move in the opposite direction in the 1890s to become Liverpool's first manager after the Toffees left Anfield for their purpose-built home at Goodison Park and a new club was formed in their place.
Moshiri is confident he represents their best choice for getting the club into Champions League contention after seven seasons finishing outside the top six, with Ancelotti managing only 12th and 10th in one-and-a-half disappointing campaigns.
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