Benitez takes over at Chelsea

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Updated: November 21, 2012

Rafael Benitez was appointed interim manager of European champions Chelsea until the end of the season on Wednesday, 10 hours after the club announced the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

Spaniard Benitez, the former Valencia, Liverpool and Inter Milan coach, becomes the ninth manager under Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

He will be tasked with salvaging their season after a run of two wins from their last eight games left them off the pace in the Premier League and facing elimination at the group stage of the Champions League six months after winning the ultimate club trophy for the first time.

Former Liverpool manager Benitez, won the 2005 Champions League, following the “miracle of Istanbul” when Liverpool came from 3-0 down to AC Milan at halftime to draw 3-3 and win on penalties.

They also reached the final in 2007, losing to Milan having beaten Chelsea in the semifinals, and won the FA Cup in 2006.

At Valencia, Benitez won the Spanish league twice and the Uefa Cup but he has been without a club since being sacked by Inter in December 2010 after six months in the job.