Italy´s World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has hailed Rafael Benitez ahead of Liverpool´s Champions League final against AC Milan.

The Merseysiders have ousted several clubs with arguably stronger squads on their way to the final in Athens and Lippi, who quit the Azzurri post after leading them to glory in Germany last summer, believes their success is largely due to the Spaniard.

"Benitez has the rare characteristics of a great tactician," said Lippi. "He gets the best out of his players, especially at a crucial time in a competition, even if his team´s quality may be inferior to that of their opponents. He is practical and precise."

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