Rafael Benitez Signs Two-Year Contract to Join Inter Milan as Coach

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez signed a two-year contract to take over at Inter Milan, the European and Italian soccer champion said on its website.

Benitez replaces Jose Mourinho, who left for Real Madrid after winning the Champions League last month. The Spaniard will be introduced as manager on June 15, Inter said.

Benitez, 50, left Liverpool by “mutual consent” on June 3 after six years. He led the Reds to the final of the Champions League twice -- winning the top European club trophy in 2005 -- and took the F.A. Cup in 2006.

However he failed to end a domestic league title drought that goes back to 1990.

In 2008-09 the club came second in the Premier League behind Manchester United, but slumped to seventh last season, the worst placing in 11 years. That meant it won’t play in the Champions League next season, its first absence from the elite competition since 2003-04.

Inter beat Bayern Munich 2-0 on May 22 to become the sixth team to win the treble of European Cup, league trophy and domestic cup in the same season. The club has won the past five Italian Serie A titles, three under Roberto Mancini and two under Mourinho.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

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