Danny Murphy: Why Liverpool appointed Rafa Benitez over Jose Mourinho

Published 4 Comments

Football News

Chelsea’s era of success from 2004 onwards could have belonged to Liverpool if things had turned out differently.

Brendan Rodgers admitted two years ago that Jose Mourinho could have replaced Gerard Houllier at Anfield, not Rafa Benitez.

“There is no doubt that there was a period back in the early 2000s that this club was a possibility for him,” Rodgers said, per the Mirror.

Liverpool’s decision to hire Benitez certainly paid off. He helped the club win the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in his six years in charge.

Yet is was probably difficult for Liverpool’s board to watch Mourinho deliver trophy after trophy to Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese turned Chelsea into one of England’s elite teams upon his arrival.

Time has since moved on, of course. Mourinho has since managed Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea (again) since leaving the Blues for the first time, while Benitez is currently managing in the Championship.

Yet Liverpool’s preference towards Benitez has drastically shaped Premier League history. It’s impossible to say how Liverpool would have fared with Mourinho in charge, but it’s still interesting to think what might have been.

Murphy: Mourinho wanted Liverpool

Danny Murphy has shed some light on just why the Reds went Spanish over Portuguese.

“When Benitez was appointed at Liverpool, it was between him and Mourinho,” Murphy told TalkSPORT. “I know that for a fact. Mourinho wanted the Liverpool job massively.

“But Liverpool basically went with Benitez, because he’d just won the Spanish league title and UEFA Cup with Valencia and they thought that was more solid an appointment than someone who had only done it, and that time, in Portugal.

“I know Mourinho was massively disappointed.

“I’m gutted too, because Benitez came in and didn’t want me. I’m just gutted it wasn’t Mourinho because he might have wanted me to stay!”

No regrets

Looking back, Liverpool supporters probably wouldn’t have swapped Benitez for Mourinho despite the success he has achieved in football. Benitez, who arrived from Valencia, made Liverpool champions of Europe for the fifth time in their history.

There’s no way fans would accept Mourinho at Anfield now. He joined Liverpool’s rivals, Manchester United, in the summer.

And anyway, they’re having too much fun with Jurgen Klopp.

Did Liverpool make the right decision to opt for Benitez? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Jose Mourinho

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again