Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard recently released his autobiography titled ‘My Story’.
In the book, the LA Galaxy midfielder claimed that he didn’t have a great relationship with former Liverpool manager, Real Benitez.
“I don’t think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person. I’m not sure why, but that’s the feeling I got from him.
“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,” the 35-year-old wrote.
The former Three lions of England captain had also claimed Benitez had a nickname for other Liverpool players but had none for him.
“At press conferences he might call other players by their first name but I was always ‘Gerrard’. It was the same in the dressing room. He would read out the team and use nicknames. But, for me, it would just be ‘Gerrard’.
“Our working relationship was ultra-professional and his frostiness drove me to become a better player. I had a hunger to earn a compliment from him – but also a hunger to let him know he really needed me as a player,” Gerrard further stated.
Rafa Benitez who is now the manager of Real Madrid has denied Gerrard’s claim. The 55-year-old Spaniard believes Gerrard is just stirring up a controversy so as to sell books.
“Out of the respect that I have for Stevie and for the value and appreciation I have for him, and for Liverpool and the supporters, I think it’s best to just let it pass.
“He has brought out a book and now I’m the Real Madrid manager, that sells,” Rafa told Spanish Television
Rafael Benitez insists that Steven Gerrard’s claims that the Real Madrid manager never liked him are simply aimed at selling his autobiography.
Gerrard claims in his book that there is “no bond” between himself and the Spaniard, having endured a frosty relationship with Benitez during his time in charge at Anfield.
Benitez’s decision to use nicknames for other players but refer to the England international simply as “Gerrard” also riled the LA Galaxy midfielder, but the Real coach has now hit back, claiming simply that the 35-year-old is “wrong”.
Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, with Gerrard playing a key role in the penalty shootout victory over AC Milan, while he also lifted the FA Cup in the following season.