Rafa Benitez said he had “returned home” after being installed as the new coach of Real Madrid on a three-year contract.
The Spaniard takes over from Carlo Ancelotti, who departed the Bernabeu last week just 12 months after guiding the club to their 10th European Cup success.
Madrid-born Benitez has spent the past two seasons with Italian side Napoli, having previously enjoyed success at European level with a number of clubs.
After leading Valencia to UEFA Cup glory in 2004, the following year he moved to the Premier League and orchestrated Liverpool’s Champions League victory at Istanbul in only his first season on Merseyside.
Two years later, he guided the Reds to another Champions League final and, in 2013, was interim boss at Chelsea when they won the Europa League.
At domestic level, he has won two La Liga titles with Valencia and an FA Cup at Anfield.
Benitez, Real’s 10th coach in 12 years, is returning to Madrid for a third spell in a coaching role having previously been in charge of their youth side in 1986 and their ‘B’ team in the early 1990s.
The 55-year-old is all to aware of the demands of the club and knows he must hit the ground running.
“The team must be competitive, capable of reaching the end of the season with chance to win trophies,” said Benitez when he faced the press after being introduced by club president Florentino Perez.
“It’s an emotional day, a very special one. I have worked very hard to achieve success and return home, which was an aim of mine. The cycle is completed but I hope it lasts a long time.
“The Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey are our objectives, as Madrid must win each game.
“Can we win it, sometimes yes, sometimes no, as this is football. But the idea is to try and win from the first game; that is what I inherited here, regardless of the competition.”
Real have been linked with Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling but Benitez refused to be drawn on changes to the squad for next season.
“We know Raheem very well, that is no secret, but he is not a player of our team,” Benitez added.
“So I will not talk about him. Today I am here to talk about my presentation. Madrid is such an important club, that there’s always look at what might happen in market.
“We have a great team, I am not going to get into names. We must focus on analysing well the performance we can get from the squad, in all aspects, and from there look to other things in the future.”
And Benitez found time to praise the efforts of his predecessor, adding: “Carlo is a great coach and a wonderful person.
“I spoke to Carlo and I have a great relationship with him. I wish him the best and I hope that the day I leave, the players will give me the same farewell that Carlo got.”