Rafael Benitez given Newcastle United rescue mission

Rafael Benitez returned to English football on Friday with the task of saving Newcastle United from Premier League relegation.

Friday March 11 2016

Real Madrid's Spanish coach Rafael Benitez shouts instructions to his players during a past match.  Benitez was on March 11, 2016 appointed Newcastle United head coach. PHOTO | MIGUEL MEDINA |

Real Madrid's Spanish coach Rafael Benitez shouts instructions to his players during a past match. Benitez was on March 11, 2016 appointed Newcastle United head coach. PHOTO | MIGUEL MEDINA |  AFP

By AFP
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LONDON

Rafael Benitez returned to English football on Friday with the task of saving Newcastle United from Premier League relegation after the struggling north-east side announced the Spaniard as their new manager.

Former Liverpool boss Benitez, sacked by Real Madrid earlier this season, has signed a three-year deal with Newcastle, who are currently second-bottom in the table with just 10 league games remaining this term.

His appointment was announced just hours after Newcastle confirmed they had sacked former manager Steve McClaren.

(READ: Newcastle sack manager McClaren)

"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," said Benitez in a Newcastle statement.

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

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