NAPLES, Italy – Rafa Benitez is returning to Italy as Napoli's new coach following his job as Chelsea's interim manager.
He succeeds Walter Mazzarri, who resigned and signed with Inter. Napoli finished second in Serie A to qualify for next season's Champions League group phase.
Napoli President and film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis made the announcement on Twitter, calling Benitez "a man of great international experience. A leader."
Benitez led Chelsea to the Europa League title this month. The Spaniard formerly coached Inter Milan in Serie A for the first half of 2010-11.
Benitez's first order of business with Napoli will be to persuade star forward Edinson Cavani to stay. Cavani led the Italian league with 29 goals but appears interested in a transfer.