Rafa is important to Reds - Mascherano

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Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has led the calls for boss Rafael Benitez to stay at the club.

The Champions League victory at Real Madrid was overshadowed by constant speculation that Benitez would quit as his contract talks floundered. But after the 1-0 win Benitez made it clear he was staying and had no intention of resigning, with further talks on his contract due with American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks scheduled for the next couple of days.

"The manager brought me to Anfield, he has done a very good job here," said Mascherano, one of 15 players in the 18-man squad signed by Benitez. "We can get to the quarter-finals again and he has shown that against the top sides like in Barcelona, at Inter Milan last season and now at Real Madrid he is a very good coach for us."

He added: "We are always a team who works very hard and every Liverpool supporter have to be very happy with this. Every players gives everything for the club.

"He is important for me. When I came to Liverpool I did not have any confidence after being at West Ham.

"The manager gave me that confidence. The only thing I can say to Rafa is thank you, he helped me during a bad moment in my career and now I try to do everything for my team and for him.

"I cannot say what is going to happen, but with him Liverpool is doing a great job. If we want to keep going in the Champions League and Premier League it is important to have him with us."

Spain international Alvaro Arbeloa agreed adding: "As for the manager and all the talk about him, I do not really know what the problem is but people must know how important he is for us.

"I hope he will continue with us for many years, but in these things you never know."

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European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Alvaro Arbeloa

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