Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Benitez targets top European club

Rafael Benitez enjoyed the challenge of taking charge of Chelsea

Rafael Benitez has set his sights on managing in the Champions League next term after bringing his stint as Chelsea interim manager to a close with a second post-season tour defeat to Manchester City on Saturday night.

The Spaniard guided Chelsea to Europa League glory and also helped them qualify for next season's Champions League after being brought in last November. Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been widely linked with a return to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Asked about his plans and a link to Napoli following Chelsea's 5-3 defeat to City in New York, Benitez told Sky Sports News: "I am going to London now. I want to be in a top side so that we can play in the Champions League, if that is possible."

Benitez faced hostility from many Chelsea fans when he took over following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo but was pleased to have delivered success to Stamford Bridge.

He added: "I think it was a good challenge and I enjoyed it at the end.

"We won a trophy, (we reached) some semi-finals, a final (and finished in the) top three so I am really pleased because a lot of people at the start, people around players, they were pushing and pushing.

"I am really pleased for everyone."

A well-taken double by Samir Nasri and further goals from Gareth Barry, James Milner and Edin Dzeko secured victory for City at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night.

Chelsea contributed to an entertaining encounter with a Ramires double and Juan Mata's free-kick.

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