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Rafa Benitez appointed Newcastle manager after Steve McClaren sacking

Published 11/03/2016

Rafa Benitez was last manager of Real Madrid.
Rafa Benitez was last manager of Real Madrid.
Steve McClaren.

Newcastle have named Rafa Benitez to replace the sacked Steve McClaren.

The ex-Liverpool boss joins United on an initial three-year deal.

Speaking of his appointment, Rafa Benitez said: "I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League.

"It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans.

"All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. This is the reason why I'm going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task.

"Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I can't be happier.

"C'mon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement!"

Managing Director Lee Charnley added: "I am very pleased to welcome Rafa Benitez to the club. In Rafa we have, without doubt, secured the services of one of Europe's top managers.

"He has managed some of the most successful teams at the very highest level of the game and we are proud to now have him as our manager.

"Our sole focus now is to give our full support to Rafa, his coaching team and the players in order to secure our status in the Premier League.

"I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Paul Simpson, Alessandro Schoenmaker and Steve Black for their service to the club."

Managing director Lee Charnley announced the sacking of Steve McClaren on Friday morning.

He said: "After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday the Club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren's employment with the Club will end with immediate effect.

"We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise. However we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the club at heart."

Read more: Is Rafael Benitez the man for Newcastle?

He added: "I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.

"Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.

"We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future."

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