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Chelsea have appointed former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez as interim manager until the end of the season.

Benitez replaces Roberto Di Matteo who was unceremoniously sacked after Chelsea went down 3-1 away to Juventus earlier this week in the Champions League and are on the verge of becoming the first team to go out in the qualifying stages having won the trophy the year before.

Benitez is Chelsea’s ninth manager under billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, who has worked his way through the likes of Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancellotti, and Andre Villas Boas.

“The owner and the board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives,” a Chelsea statement said.

“The two time Uefa manager of the Year comes with outstanding pedigree.”

While Benitez undoubtedly comes with pedigree, he is far from a popular choice amongst Blues fans, chiefly for being seen as the enemy for so long while in charge of Liverpool.

Abramovich no doubt hopes though that Benitez can bring the wins and the fluid ‘Barcelona in blue’ football Abramovich wants, as well as bringing the best out of his £50 million vanity project Fernando Torres who Benitez worked with at Anfield.

Benitez will need to get off to a flying start this weekend though.

Photo: Getty.


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