Reina: Players wanted Benitez

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Pepe Reina has revealed Liverpool’s players would have been happy if former boss Rafa Benitez was named as Kenny Dalglish’s successor instead of Brendan Rodgers.


Liverpool’s supporters were in favour of Benitez returning for a second spell in charge of the Merseyside club having departed in 2010, with some urging the club’s American owners to interview him for the role.


However Swansea boss Rodgers was announced as the club’s new manager this morning, two weeks after Dalglish’s departure.


Benitez guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 and came close to winning the league title in 2009, while also claiming the FA Cup in 2006.


The former Valencia manager was responsible for taking a host of Spanish players to the club including Reina, and the goalkeeper believes Benitez would have been a popular appointment at Anfield.


"For many of my colleagues and me, Rafa Benitez would be the ideal candidate," he told Radio Marca.


Rodgers was appointed as Liverpool boss despite initially ruling himself out of the running because of the very public nature of the interview process.


Wigan’s Roberto Martinez was spotted holding talks with Liverpool owner John Henry, while Louis Van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp and Frank de Boer were all linked with the role.


Rodgers has become the 18th permanent manager in Liverpool’s history and their fourth in the last two years since Benitez was fired in the summer of 2010.

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Kenny Dalglish
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