Rafa Benitez becomes Newcastle’s new manager

English Premier League team Newcastle hires Real Madrid’s ex-manager Rafa Benitez

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Rafael Benitez reacts during a match when he was coach in Real Madrid.

Newcastle United appointed Spaniard Rafa Benitez as their new manager on Friday after dismissing Steve McClaren, who had been head coach for the last nine months.

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez, 55, has only 10 matches to preserve Newcastle's Premier League status with the first of those games coming at league leaders Leicester City on Monday.

In a statement the club said the Spaniard had joined on an initial three-year contract.

"It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans," Benitez said of the task facing him.

TRTWorld, Reuters