Rafa Benitez's best XI of players he's managed features Liverpool and Chelsea legends

Rafa Benitez and Steven Gerrard

Rafael Benitez has had an extraordinary career.

The Spanish manager has enjoyed great success in his managerial career.

Benitez established himself as a world-class boss after winning two La Liga titles with Valencia at the start of the century.

He then went on to have great success with Liverpool as he won the Champions League and the FA Cup in a six-year spell.

Following his departure from Liverpool in 2010, Benitez has gone on to manager the likes of Inter Milan, Napoli, Real Madrid and Chelsea (interim).

Benitez has managed a plethora of world-class players during his career.

We have listed the best XI of players that he's managed. Players have been selected based on how good they were over the course of their career and not necessarily how good they were when Benitez managed them.

It makes for a star studded XI and you can view it below...

GK: Petr Cech (Chelsea)

Benitez has managed so many great goalkeepers including Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, Santiago Cañizares and Julio Cesar.

But we've gone with Cech, who was arguably the best goalkeeper in the world in his prime.

Petr Cech and Rafa Benitez

RB: Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan)

Zanetti's inclusion is a little cheeky given he was 37 and at the end of his career when Benitez managed him. But the Argentine is a true legend of the game, having made 143 appearances for his country.

CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Ramos will go down as one of the world's greatest defenders ever when he retires. Now 35, he is still a world-class player.

CB: John Terry (Chelsea)

Terry is one of Chelsea's best players ever. A one-club man, he scored 68 times in 759 games for the Blues.

Rafa Benitez and John Terry at Chelsea

LB: Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Marcelo, now 32, is no longer at the peak of his powers. But there is no question that he is one of the greatest left-backs of all-time.

CDM: Xabi Alonso (Liverpool)

Alonso was one of Benitez's first signings at Liverpool, signing for £10.7m from Real Sociedad. He emerged into a world-class player at the Reds.

CM: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Gerrard had everything a world-class midfielder should have. The Englishman's presence helped Benitez win four major trophies at Liverpool.

Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool

CM: Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

Lampard, in my eyes, is criminally underrated. He scored 211 times in 648 games for Chelsea, which is an absurd tally for a midfielder.

RW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Ronaldo obviously had to make the side. He is one of greatest footballers that has ever lived.

LW: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Hazard is enduring a nightmare at Real Madrid but you can't forget how good he was for Chelsea.

Eden Hazard and Rafa Benitez at Chelsea

ST: Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

Selecting Benitez's best striker was an extremely tough task. He has managed Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres and Karim Benzema in his career.

We've gone with Torres, who was absolutely unplayable at his peak. It's such a shame that injuries meant his time at the very top of the game was not long at all.


Bench: Iker Casillas, Ashley Cole, Pepe, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba

Benitez has managed so many world-class players that the likes of Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale miss out on the squad completely.

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