Benitez defends record

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes he deserves more credit for the job he has done at Anfield.

The Reds head into Tuesday night's Champions League last-16 second leg clash with Real Madrid knowing they are ranked Europe's best team by UEFA, the continent's governing body, based on performances in the tournament over the last five years.

Since the Spaniard took over in 2004 Liverpool have won their fifth European title, in 2005, while also reaching the final two years later. However, Benitez, who has suffered stinging criticism from some quarters for his inability to oversee a concerted Barclays Premier League title challenge hit back, saying; "You have to judge people on the job they are doing and I am happy for anyone to look at how we have progressed in my time at Liverpool."

He added: "The team is improving all the time and the squad is now better than ever. We are closer to the Premier League title and going well in the Champions League again.

"The UEFA findings show we have the best record in Europe over the last five years. Yet some of the messages still coming my way are not the best.

"Maybe some people don't realise how difficult it is to keep succeeding in the Champions League but the facts are there for all to see. Anyone can see what I have done here."

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European News
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