Newcastle United has announced that manager Rafa Benitez will remain its manager, signing a new three-year contract.
Benitez, 56, was first announced as the club’s manager on March 11, 2016 after he signed a three-year deal. He took over for Steve McClaren who had previously been the manager since June 9, 2015 after John Carver was fired. McClaren was then fired after just nine months as Newcastle sat in 19th place in the Premier League having won six of 28 games during his time at the helm.
Newcastle was relegated at the end of the season after it finished in 18th place with 37 points, two points behind Sunderland in 17th place. However, Benitez helped Newcastle finish strong. The club ended the season on a six match unbeaten streak that included a 5-1 defeat over third-place Tottenham on the final day of the season.
Speaking about staying on, Benitez went on to say:
“I am extremely pleased to be staying at Newcastle United. “
“The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me in my decision to stay, as was my relationship with Lee Charnley and all the staff.”
“This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United.”
Benitez is the only manager in history to win the UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup. The manager won the UEFA Champions League in 2001 with Valencia, the 2010 Italian Super Cup with Inter Milan, the UEFA Champions League in 2005 with Liverpool, and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2010 with Inter.
Other accomplishments for Benitez include the UEFA Manager of the Year award twice, winning the 2006 FA Cup, and reaching the 2007 Champions League Final.
This is a huge keep for Newcastle after relegating to the Championship. Managing director Lee Charnley was very enthusiastic on Benitez.
“When we brought Rafa to the club in March, we knew he was a phenomenal manager and everything we have seen from him since has only served to reinforce that.”
“We are therefore delighted to have secured his services for the next three years and I believe with Rafa as manager it gives us the best possible chance of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking and delivering success for this football club beyond that.”
“It is clear that Rafa has connected deeply with the club’s supporters and we do not underestimate the role they have played in his decision to stay.”
“He has captured the hearts and minds not just of the fans, but of everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him at the club thus far.”
“As a world-class manager we had no doubt in our minds as to the importance of retaining him at Newcastle United.”
Benitez is signed until the summer of 2019.