The Spanish boss was in charge of rivals Liverpool from 2004 til 2010
The Italian boss left for Real Madrid earlier this summer and the Toffees’ search for a new man in the dugout saw them linked with the likes of Nuno Espirito Santo and former incumbent David Moyes.
But it is Benitez who has taken over on a three-year deal, despite some protestations from the fanbase at appointing the Spaniard who was previously a success with their Merseyside rivals, Liverpool.
The Club’s Majority Shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, sa: “Rafa impressed us greatly with his knowledge and experience but, above all, the passion and hunger he showed to join our Club.
“We are appointing Rafa because we believe he will bring success to our Club and to Evertonians. To put it simply – we need to be competing at the top-end of the league and to be winning trophies. Rafa is a proven winner with huge experience in coaching internationally and we have secured the best man to achieve that for us.”
Everton finished last season in 10th place after a disappointing overall campaign, but Benitez feels he can help them push on and target an improvement in future.
Rafael Benitez said: “I am delighted to be joining Everton. Throughout this process I have been greatly impressed by the ambition shown by the senior representatives at the Club and their desire to bring success to this historic Club.
“I believe this is a Club that is going places. I’m determined to play a big part in helping this great Club achieve its ambitions.”
Having most recently been in the Chinese Super League, Benitez’s impressive CV has seen him win and challenge for trophies with Inter Milan, Napoli, Real Madrid and his new club’s local rivals. On his time at Anfield, Benitez said all that matters is that he will look to replicate his best work with his new club and the past will not affect that.
“I have been in Madrid, Naples, Valencia, Tenerife, Extremadura and Liverpool," han sa.
“Every single club I was there, I was fighting for them. If you analyse things in the context, what you are expecting from your manager is to fight for your club, and I will do that.
“I am here, I will fight for my club, I will try to win every single game, and it doesn’t matter who the opponents are, or the rivals. It is something you have to do, it is your nature, that you have to try to do your best.
“And why a lot of fans in a lot of these cities love me is because I was giving everything for them. If you analyse this in the context, then it is very clear I will do the same for Everton.”
Duncan Ferguson, who was Ancelotti’s assistant, will remain on the coaching staff at Goodison Park.