Rafael Benitez starts ‘new project’ at Dalian Yifang, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Rafael Benitez starts ‘new project’ at Dalian Yifang

Rafael Benitez has been unveiled as the new head coach of Chinese Super League (CSL) club Dalian Yifang, replacing Choi Kang Hee at the helm.

Benitez, who left English Premier League side Newcastle United after failing to agree on a contract extension last week, takes over a team that are in 10th in the CSL, following a 3-1 win over fellow strugglers Beijing Renhe last Saturday.

"After a long path... We start a new challenge! I'm happy to begin this new project with Dalian Yifang," he said on his Twitter account.

Benitez takes over a squad that include Marek Hamsik, who played under him at Italian Serie A side Napoli.

Benitez has said his decision to walk away from Newcastle came after he lost trust in their hierarchy.

He told The Times: "When I came to Newcastle, they gave me the plans for the new training ground, I was talking to the architect about changing a few things.

"After three years... they painted the walls." - REUTERS