Spanish champions Valencia have confirmed that they have struck a new deal with oach Rafael Benitez tthat will keep him at the club until 2005.

Benitez has put pen to paper on a contract that will see him stay at the Mestalla until June 2005.

The club were eager to extend Bennitez’s stay at Valencia after the 42-year-old led the club to their first title in 31 years last season. Valencia have begun the new season in impressive fashion both at home and in Europe.

Benitez’s coaching staff including assistant Antonio Lopez, fitness trainer Francisco Ayestaran and goalkeeping coach Jose Manuel Ochotorena will also remain with the club for another two seasons.