Asked to rate the managers he has played for in his career, Steven Gerrard had no hesitation in declaring Rafa Benitez as ‘Tactically the best’ he had played under.
Looking back at what the now Newcastle boss achieved at Liverpool, Steven Gerrard says it was a ‘miracle’ that they won the Champions League and not just because they were 3-0 down at half-time.
Gerrard says that when you look at that team that lifted the biggest club prize in the world, Rafa Benitez was just ‘incredible’.
The likes of Traore, Riise, Baros and Smicer, overcoming AC Milan’s Pirlo, Stam, Cafu, Shevshenko, Maldini, Nesta, Crespo, Kaka, Seedorf and Gattuso (Not forgetting former Newcastle striker Jon Dahl Tomasson who came on as a late sub!).
“Rafa Benitez – Tactically the best.
“Just in general – setting a team up to play, then to deliver the Champions League with the team that we won it with…was a miracle and Rafa was a big part of that. He was incredible.
“I enjoyed working with Kenny (Dalglish), my hero and also my dad’s hero. I grew up on him.
“That was a strange feeling playing for one of your heroes but I loved every minute of it.
“Brendan Rodgers was very clever, very slick on the training pitch and he would have had a big chance for the England job, only the timings were wrong. I’ve been lucky I’ve worked with top managers. Fabio Capello was good.”