22 Nov 2012

Rafael Benitez appointed interim Chelsea manager

11:47 am on 22 November 2012

Rafael Benitez has been appointed as the new interim manager of European football champions Chelsea until the end of the season, just 10 hours after the club announced the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

Spaniard Benitez, the former Valencia, Liverpool and Inter Milan coach, becomes the ninth manager under Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

He will be tasked with salvaging their season after a run of two wins from their last eight games left them off the pace in the Premier League and facing elimination at the group stage of the Champions League - six months after winning the ultimate club trophy for the first time.

It's been widely speculated Chelsea would appoint a temporary manager to fill the gap until former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola potentially becomes available following a one-year sabbatical from the game.