Rafa Benitez stays at Newcastle despite relegation from EPL
Rafa Benitez started this season as coach of Spanish giant Real Madrid , facing Barcelona among others. He'll begin next season in the second tier of English football and working out how to beat the likes of Burton Albion and Brentford.
Newcastle said Wednesday that Benitez will remain as manager despite the club's relegation to the second-tier League Championship at the end of last season. The Spanish coach joined Newcastle in March and had a clause in his contract allowing him to leave should the team be relegated from the top-flight.
He has not exercised that clause.
Benitez has signed a new three-year deal, which Newcastle said gives him
"day-to-day responsibility for all football-related matters at the club."
The 56-year-old Benitez has never managed in England's second tier and last coached outside a top league in 2001 at Tenerife in Spain.
It is a big step down for Benitez, who has coached some of Europe's top sides in Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Napoli and Madrid.
"The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me in my decision to stay," Benitez said.
"This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United."
Newcastle will be playing in the second tier for the first time since the 2009-10 season.