MILAN - Rafael Maudes Benitez is one of the true greats of European football, one of the few who brings trophies to the clubs he manages.
Born in Madrid on 16 April 1960, Benitez graduated with top marks in physical education before embarking on his coaching career. After spells at the Castilla and Real Madrid academies he went on to coach Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife. Benitez became a legend at Valencia, winning the Primera Liga in 2001/02 and again in 2003/04, when he also added the UEFA Cup.
From Valencia in Spain to Liverpool in England, Benitez cemented his status as one of Europe's great coaches in the 2004/05 Champions League final, when the Reds produced an epic comeback against AC Milan. Several months later he added the European Super Cup. In his second season on Merseyside Benitez won the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield.
Benitez comes to Italy fully aware of the club he has chosen: Inter, an exceptional team that has just won its fifth consecutive Serie A title, its sixth Coppa Italia and its third Champions League. If you're one of the great coaches in European football, a club with the prestige of Inter is hard to resist.