China

Rafa Benitez Announced as Dalian Yifang’s New Manager

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez has been announced as the new manager of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

Benitez recently departed from Premier League side Newcastle due to the expiry of his contract.

Meanwhile, Dalian Yifang recently parted ways with coach Choi Kang-Hee, after a below-par start to the season saw the Blue Hawks sit 10th with 17 points at the end of the first leg of the season.

Since their promotion to the Super League two seasons ago, Dalian Yifang have been one of the most ambitious Chinese sides in regards to their attempted transfers from Europe. The side already have established names like Yannick Carrasco and Marek Hamsik on the books.

Their new Spanish coach is a similarly renowned name in football, having had spells at some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Benitez made his name during his time at Valencia, where won two La Liga titles and UEFA Cup, and at Liverpool, where he guided the side to win the Champions League in 2005.

In his recent spell, Benitez returned Newcastle to the Premier League and weathered the storm caused by off-field issues to lead the side to two respectable mid-table finishes.

Upon his arrival in China, Benitez will be tasked with improving Dalian Yifang’s fortunes in hopes to make them one of the stronger sides in the league.