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Steven Gerrard’s autobiography has gone into incredible detail about Rafa Benitez’s time at Liverpool and how he treated his players, saying that on one occasion the Spaniard "it made personal."
The former Inter boss moved to Merseyside after winning two La Ligas with Valencia- 2001/2 and 2003/4 – and soon became a fan favourite, guiding the Reds to FA Cup and Champions League victories.
However, Benitez’s relationship with the players and, with the club's hierarchy itself at times, appeared highly strung and this has been revealed furthermore in Gerrard’s book.
Steven Gerrard: My Story, which was published in 2015, spoke about an incident between the Spaniard and Robbie Keane.
"I had initially been delighted when we signed Robbie because he had done terrifically well at Tottenham alongside Dimitar Berbatov,” it reads.
“But he wanted to play as number 10 at Liverpool. I felt we didn't need him in that position as I was doing so well in the role," Gerrard wrote.
"He was a good addition to the squad but I worried it could become a problem either for him or me in a battle for the same position. But, more often than not, Rafa played me as a 10. There wasn't room for both Robbie and I in Rafa's team.
"I could see why Rafa had his doubts about playing Robbie in front of me. He had none of Torres's pace. Robbie was far better when allowed to drop in behind and pick up intelligent spaces where he could set up and score goals. But it was obvious that his relationship with Rafa would never work.
Gerrard continued: "Instead of letting Robbie be the player he had signed, Rafa tried to change him. He had Robbie attempting movements which made him uncomfortable. Robbie would have been a success under most of the managers I played with at Liverpool.
Will Rafa Benitez be a success at Everton Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below
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"But Rafa made it personal. I couldn't understand why Rafa tried to change a top player. Let him play his own game – that's why we signed him."
It’s not the first time Gerrard – or any player for that matter – has spoken about how difficult Benitez was to work under sometimes.
Benitez is currently enjoying a good spell with Everton, where they sit 5th in the Premier League table – but were knocked out on the Carabao Cup in the early stages.
- Champions League
- FA Cup
- Premier League
- Jurgen Klopp
- Sadio Mane
- Steven Gerrard
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