Steven Gerrard says he never had a friendly relationship with Rafael Benitez

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Steven Gerrard has revealed he does not have a friendly relationship with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

Gerrard and Benitez worked together during Liverpool's most famous moment, the 2005 Champions League final, but for some reason the English midfielder feels no bond with his former boss.

The former Liverpool and England captain does acknowledge Benitez was the best tactical manager he ever played under but believes the Spaniard did not like him as a person.


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The LA Galaxy midfielder also admits that the current Real Madrid manager's 'frostiness' drove him to become a better player.

In his new book, My Story, serialised by the Mail, Gerrard said: "I don't think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person.

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"I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers. Except for Rafa.

"It's a shame because we probably shared the biggest night of both our careers — the 2005 Champions League victory in Istanbul — and yet there is no bond between us."

Gerrard believes Benitez favoured Spanish and South American players; the Spaniard gave them nicknames, but he was always 'Gerrard'.

However, the 35-year-old did not let that that bother him, saying: "He was the best tactical coach I worked with at Liverpool and England, so I didn't care what he called me.

"Our working relationship was ultra-professional, and his frostiness drove me to become a better player."

Benitez won two major trophies in his six-year spell on Merseyside but, perhaps, should have won the Premier League before his infamous 'facts' rant derailed Liverpool's season.

The Anfield legend was integral in both cup wins under Benitez, playing a vital role in the comebacks against West Ham United and AC Milan.

Regardless of their relationship, the manager should be thankful to have had Gerrard in his ranks.


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Steven Gerrard
Premier League

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