Rafa

Rafa

In football,

Chelsea have appointed former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez as interim manager until the end of the season. 

The Blues were hammered 3-nil by Juventus in the Champions League yesterday morning and that led to the sacking of manager, Roberto Di Matteo. 

The Italian who'd signed a 2-year deal in June, was responsible in leading Chelsea to the FA Cup trophy and Champions League title last season. 

Meanwhile, 52 year old Benitez who was overlooked in March as a potential candidate to replace Andre Villas Boas is now with the Blues on a short-term appointment. 

Benitez is Chelsea's 9th manager since Roman Abramovic took over in 2003. 

But the Russian billionaire's ideal choice for the role of manager at Chelsea is Pep Guardiola. 

The former Barcelona manager thou is presently on a year-long sabbatical in New York and will only make up his mind regarding his future, in about 3 months time. 

In regional football news, 

Our Singapore Lions depart today for Kuala Lumpur ahead of this Sunday's Suzuki Cup opening clash against Malaysia. 

An estimated 80,000 home fans along with 500 Singapore supporters are expected to be on hand at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium for the battle between the causeway rivals. 

And following that match, the Republic will meet Indonesia and Laos in the remaining Group B matches. 

Our Singapore Lions are 3-time winners of this tournament. 

And with this possibly being national coach Raddy Avramovic's final assignment, the players are hoping to end the tournament on a high. 

Meanwhile, 

Prime Minister Najib Razak paid a visit to the Malaysian national team while they were training yesterday. 

And the 59 year old wished the Tigers the best of luck in defending the Suzuki Cup. 

With the government having offered $26,000 Sing dollars to each player and coaching staff 2 years ago, the team has again been promised more incentives, should they retain the Cup.