Everton have appointed former Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez on a three-year deal.
The Spanish coach used to be the Toffee’s arch rival while in charge of their neighbours, Liverpool. During his time as coach of Reds, Benitez described Everton as a “small club” and it caused fans backlash when the rumor of him joining Everton first came up.
It has now become something of the past as Benitez claims he was misinterpreted and is happy to be joining the growing project at the blue side of Merseyside.
“You can see the ambition is there,” Benitez told Everton TV. “This club is growing.
“For me, it is about bringing the winning mentality, being competitive, so everything is in place on the pitch and off the pitch. I love the passion of the people behind the club. I know the city, I know Scousers, I know what it means for every fan here to compete and to have the chance to win.
“To come to Everton is something that means a lot, for sure. You can see the ambition of the owner, of the board, everybody wants to be better and to go to the new stadium with a massive boost. I like to compete. I like to win. I came from the academy at Real Madrid [as a young player and coach], and the winning mentality is already there.
“We [Benitez and the coaching staff] have won 13 titles because we have this mentality and I still want to win. And I have come to Everton because I liked the idea to be competitive again — and to have the chance to compete in every game, to compete against anyone.”
Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri hailed the appointment of the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss “Rafa impressed us greatly with his knowledge and experience but, above all, the passion and hunger he showed to join our club. We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our Club and to Evertonians.
“To put it simply — we need to be competing at the top end of the league and to be winning trophies. Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us.”
Benitez becomes the first coach to have taken charge of both Merseyside clubs.
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