Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rafa finally signs a new contract

Rafael Benitez last night signed a new £25million contract that will keep him at Anfield until 2014.

Fresh from emphatic victories over Real Madrid and Manchester United, the 48-year-old finally settled the doubts over his future ahead of Friday's Champions League quarter-final draw in Nyon.

He said: 'My heart is with Liverpool Football Club, so I'm delighted to sign this new deal.'

Benitez is satisfied he will be given a free rein with plans for his long-term project at Liverpool, which look likely to include a return for former chief scout Frank McParland in a director of football role.

After confirming the £5m-ayear deal, Benitez added: 'I love the club, the fans and the city and with a club like this and supporters like this, I could never say No to staying. I always made it clear I wanted to be here for a long time and when I complete my new contract it will mean I have spent over a decade in Liverpool.

The club is greatly respected around the world due to its incredible history and tremendous heritage. It is my aim to uphold those values and help create a new chapter in our history.

'Throughout this process, I would like to thank the owners for their hard work in finalising the deal. All of us at the club want the same thing, which is to be successful by winning major trophies.'

Benitez has been linked with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City but has maintained his ultimate goal is to stay with Liverpool and deliver a League title they have not won since 1989-90.

'Liverpool co-chairman Tom Hicks said: 'It is wonderful news.' His fellow co-owner George Gillett said: 'Rafa has special abilities and qualities which are admired here at the club and around the world.'

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