Rafael Benitez factfile
1960: Born Madrid, April 4.
1974: Joins Real Madrid, making slow progress through the ranks.
1981: Leaves Real Madrid without ever playing for the first team and joins Third Division Parla.
1983: Part of the Parla side which gains promotion to Segunda B.
1986: After retiring as a player, appointed to Real Madrid's coaching staff, starting off with the juniors and working up to the Under-19s.
1994: Leads Real Madrid's B team to seventh in Spain's Second Division and ends the season as assistant to first-team coach Vicente del Bosque.
1995: Appointed coach of Valladolid but sacked after 23 games with the team bottom of the Primera Liga.
1996: Takes over at Osasuna in Second Division, but lasts just nine games after recording one win.
1997: Joins Second Division outfit Extremadura and leads them to promotion.
1999: Extremadura relegated from top flight after a play-off defeat to Villarreal.
1999-2000: Quits Extremadura to take a year's sabbatical to study coaching in Italy and England.
2000: Appointed boss of Second Division Tenerife and leads them promotion.
2001: Replaces Hector Cuper at Valencia and leads the club to their first Primera Liga title in 31 years.
2004: Leads Valencia to their first ever double, lifting both the Primera Liga and the UEFA Cup.
June 1 - Valencia announce that Benitez and the club have agreed to part by mutual consent.
June 16 - Confirmed as Liverpool manager on five-year contract.
2005: May - Wins Champions League in his first season as Liverpool come from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul.
2007: February - American duo Tom Hicks and George Gillett buy the club from David Moores, vowing to bring the Premier League title to Anfield.
May - Benitez's side reach the Champions League final for the second time in three seasons but lose to AC Milan in Athens.
2008: Relations between Benitez and the Anfield hierarchy sour suddenly with doubts over the Spaniard's long-term future, largely due to differences of opinion over transfer policy.
2009: March 18 - Benitez signs a new contract after months of uncertainty, keeping him at Anfield until 2014. Liverpool finish second to Manchester United in the Premier League.
November - Finds his position under intense scrutiny after a run of six defeats in seven games in all competitions, the only win coming over United at Anfield, while they also crash out of the Champions League at the group stage.
December 13 - Benitez comes under further fire after Liverpool are dumped out of the FA Cup following a 2-1 third-round replay at home to Coca-Cola Championship strugglers Reading.
2010: March 28 - Pledges his commitment to Liverpool before discussing his future with new club chairman Martin Broughton.
April 29 - Liverpool are knocked out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage by Atletico Madrid.
May 9 - A goalless draw on the final day at relegated Hull confirms Liverpool finish the Barclays Premier League season in seventh - their worst position since 1999.
June 3 - Benitez leaves his job as Liverpool manager by mutual consent.