Benitez eager to get started at Napoli

28 May 2013 09:17

Rafael Benitez said on Tuesday that he was "extremely excited" about his appointment as coach of Napoli, vowing to respect the club's traditions and "very, very special" supporters.

The 53-year-old Spaniard has signed a two-year contract with the Italian club and succeeds Walter Mazzarri, who has joined one of Benitez's former clubs, Inter Milan.

Benitez will arrive in southern Italy after a successful but testing season as interim manager of Chelsea.

He faced opposition from the club's fans following his appointment in November, but led the club to Europa League glory and a third-place finish in the Premier League.

Napoli finished second in Serie A this season, their best finish since a side featuring Diego Maradona won the Italian title in 1990, and Benitez said he was confident of taking the club forward.

"Now that the agreement is confirmed, I can say I am very happy and very satisfied for having committed to a great club with an illustrious heritage like Napoli," he wrote on his official website,

"I understand the history of the city and how the club forms a fundamental part of the culture and traditions of Naples.

"I must confess that I am extremely excited because I can share my passion for football with the fans of Napoli; it is proven that they are very, very special.

"I look forward to experiencing each and every one of the fans of Napoli and their strong support for this project that we will begin.

"I'm happy to become a member of that great family of Naples and thus we can share the triumphs together.

"We will begin from the start as we mean to go on and we will fight from the beginning to achieve success for the fans of SSC Napoli."

Benitez has also revealed that fitness coach Francisco de Miguel Moreno and goalkeeping coach Vicente Javier Valero Berchili, both of whom worked with him at Liverpool, Inter and Chelsea, will form part of his back-room staff.

Benitez will officially assume his new role in July.

Source: AFP