Did he ever stand a chance? Taking over from the Treble-winning Jose Mourinho, with Inter Milan's expectations at their highest level for generations, Rafael Benitez knew he was drinking from a poisoned chalice and cannot be surprised that his underachievements have led to his dismissal.
A student of the blame game, Benitez is never far away from pointing the finger elsewhere but, at Inter, the fault lies within. The spectre of Mourinho's ghost loomed large, but from the moment Serie A ...
1981: Leaves Real Madrid after seven years without ever playing for the first team and joins third division Parla.
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 Segunda 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 Division.
1996: Takes over at Osasuna in second division, but lasts just nine games after recording one win.
1997: Joins Segunda Division outfit Extremadura and leads them to promotion.
1999: Extremadura relegated from top flight after play-off defeat to Villarreal - Benitez quits the following season to take a year's sabbatical to study coaching in Italy and England
2000: Appointed boss of Segunda Division Tenerife and leads them to promotion.
2001: Replaces Hector Cuper at Valencia and leads the club to their first Spanish league title in 31 years.
2004: Leads Valencia to their first ever double, lifting the league title and the UEFA Cup, before the club announce his deparure 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 draw 3-3 before beating AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul.
2007: American duo Tom Hicks and George Gillett buy the club from David Mooresand in 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.
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.
2010: April 29 - After previous early exits from the Champions League and FA Cup, 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 Premier League season in seventh - their worst position since 1999.
June - Benitez leaves his job as Liverpool manager by mutual consent and Inter Milan confirm an agreement has been reached for him to become their new coach on a two-year deal to succeed Jose Mourinho.
August 21 - Leads Inter to Italian Supercoppa triumph with 3-1 win over Roma at San Siro.
August 27 - Inter beaten 2-0 by Atletico Madrid in European Super Cup final in Monaco.
December 18 - Leads Inter to FIFA Club World Cup glory with 3-0 win over Congolese side Mazembe in Abu Dhabi final. Immediately then calls on club to back him in the transfer market in January or sack him.
December 23 - Inter announce Benitez's dismissal after agreeing the financial terms of his departure.