Feature by LFC Online
Updated Tuesday, 27th July 2004
Rafael Benitez was appointed Liverpool manager in the summer of 2004, after the departure of Gerard Houllier.
The former Valencia manager is highly-rated, having won a league and UEFA Cup double in 2003/04, and becomes the first Spanish manager of Liverpool.
In his first season in charge at Valencia he led the club to their first La Liga title for 31 years.
As soon as Benitez arrived at Liverpool there was a renewed sense of optimism among the players and fans.
Within 12 months he had led Liverpool to their fifth European Cup success in Istanbul, after the most exciting Champions League final in history.
FA Cup success followed the next season, but the Premiership was always the priority for Liverpool Football Club and, despite finishing as runners-up in 2008/09, problems with the club's owners made the following season difficult for Benitez and he was forced to resign at the end of 2009/10.
He went on to manage Inter Milan for a brief spell, but his heart remains with the Liverpool fans he left behind. In June 2010 he donated £96,000 to the Hillsborough Families Support Group.