Rafael Benitez confirms Napoli departure

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Rafael Benitez has confirmed that he will be leaving Napoli at the end of the season, amid speculation that he's set to take over at Real Madrid.

The Spaniard has just held a press conference in Italy and has confirmed that this season will be his last in Italy and his incredible journey with the Serie A club is coming to an end.

The former-Liverpool and Chelsea manager has been in Naples for two seasons now, joining them back in 2013, and during his time at the club, he has guided them to a Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana.

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Benitez and Napoli have not lived up to expectation this season and it's been a disappointing year, considering the standards the club has been used to in previous years.

This is the main thing that lead to initial speculation that it would be the Spaniard's last in Italy.

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They were eliminated from the Champions League during the qualifying stages after losing to Athletic Bilbao, and then they failed to win the Europa League after being stunned by Dnipro in the semi-finals.

Last-day potential outcomes

Napoli are sitting fourth in the table, but could still claim a Champions League spot if they defeat Lazio - who are currently third.

Despite Lazio being three points clear and with a significantly better goal-difference, a Napoli win would secure third place for Benitez's men due to a better head-to-head record between the two sides this season.

However, if results went against them on the final day, they could drop down to fifth.

Here is a look at the current top six in the Serie A, as taken from SkySports:

Brief Statements

Speaking in today's press conference, Benitez stated that he is 'ending his experience' with the Italian side, and voiced his sadness at departing the club.

"It is always sad to leave a place where people treat you well right from the beginning," he said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"Waiting for us on Sunday is a very important game and I want to finish my two years with a victory."

Napoli's chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis was also present at the conference and he too voiced his sadness at the managerial change.

"Thank you Rafa for this time together," he said.

"We will be the only Italian team - for the sixth year in a row - that will participate in Uefa competitions."

Next Chapter

What's next for Benitez? Well it's looking more and more likely that he will become the new Real Madrid manager.

Carlo Ancelotti was sacked earlier this week after failing to win a trophy this season and Florentino Perez was adamant that the next manager will speak fluent Spanish.

It's heavily reported that Benitez will take over at the Bernabeu for the start of next season.

As of yet, it's not clear who will take over the reigns at Napoli.

Do you think Benitez could be successful at Real Madrid, or do you think he'd be better off returning to the Premier League? Give us YOUR opinion in the comment box below! 

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