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Everton appoint former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez as manager

Tony McArdle - Everton FC / Everton FC / Getty

Beloved Spanish tactician Rafael Benitez is returning to Merseyside, this time to take charge of Everton.

Everton announced the 61-year-old's hiring Wednesday, confirming Benitez has penned a three-year deal to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park.

"I am delighted to be joining Everton. Throughout this process, I have been greatly impressed by the ambition shown by the senior representatives at the club and their desire to bring success to this historic club," Benitez said.

Reports of Everton's interest in Benitez were met with criticism from some Toffees supporters following the manager's six-year reign with local rivals Liverpool. Benitez won the Champions League with the Reds in 2005.

Benitez joins William Edward Barclay as the only two individuals to manage both Everton and Liverpool. Barclay was part of Everton's foundation in the 1890s and later the breakaway group that became Liverpool.

Benitez has also managed Real Madrid, Napoli, Inter Milan, and Valencia during a celebrated career that's seen the former defender win seven major honors.

"We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our club and to Evertonians," Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri said.

"To put it simply, we need to be competing at the top end of the league and to be winning trophies. Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally, and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us."

Everton finished 10th in the Premier League last season. The club won only three of its last 12 fixtures following a bright start to the campaign under Ancelotti, who left earlier in the summer to rejoin Real Madrid.

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