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Na he was with a few of his mates.

 

I said ''Thanks for Istanbul,'' he said something like no problem (i was drunk, can't remember exactly. 2 quid double whiskeys) and my mate took a photo of me and him.

 

Unbelievably big nose.

Edited by PaulMcC
mistake

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Na he was with a few of his mates.

 

I said ''Thanks for Istanbul,'' he said something like no problem (i was drunk, can't remember exactly. 2 quid double whiskeys) and my mate took a photo of me and him.

 

Unbelievably big nose.

 

Send me the picture, I'll put it in the gallery.

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http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/ex-liverpool-boss-rafa-benitez-7805330

 

Ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez 'was a genius but cold and unfair — I wanted to PUNCH him'

 

In his new book, Kop hero Jerzy Dudek lifts the lid on what life was really like under Spaniard who returns to Anfield as the Magpies' manager this weekend

 

Rafa Benitez is truly passionate about the game.

 

He has a great knowledge of football. He’s not a fool who comes out with theories that are all talk. His problem is that he’s not a great ‘people person’ so always encounters problems when managing a group because he is very cold and hard-faced in how he makes decisions.

 

He kept a distance between himself and his players – like there was an invisible wall there – but it didn’t stop him from being a genius of a coach.

 

After the Champions League triumph, I felt he was treating me unfairly, but that’s how Rafa operated. He did everything so coldly, almost inhumanely, because he saw things as business.

 

He had to protect his interests, but it was hard to be on the receiving end of it. when I returned to Melwood I had a new rival - Jose ‘Pepe’ Reina, a Spanish international, had been signed from Villarreal for a reported £6million.

 

I wasn’t happy and went straight in to see Benitez, who tried to calm me down.

 

“It doesn’t mean that I’ll let you go."

 

“You don’t buy a player for so much money to leave him on the bench... Should I look for a new club or will you take care of selling me?”

 

“Okay, let’s wait for serious offers. Then we’ll start to talk money. We’ll find a good solution for everybody.”

 

I loved being at Liverpool, but Benitez clearly didn’t want me.

 

I’d been the hero in Istanbul so could I now just be a fire-fighter who waits for the moment when a fire needs fighting?

 

If this was Poland, the media and fans would have demanded that I play, but I didn’t have that support in England.

 

Then rumours started that I was earning between £60,000-70,000 per week and Benitez wanted me off the wage bill.

 

I wondered if someone had made this story up to try and turn the Liverpool supporters against me. I was confused, so I spoke about what Benitez was up to.

 

The main interest was from FC Cologne, so I told Benitez I wanted to go there.

 

He said it would be a good move for me, adding: “We’ll definitely help you, we’ll do whatever it takes to make a deal.”

 

The negotiations started. I was in touch with Cologne regularly and they told me Benitez wouldn’t speak to them. I got more and more frustrated with him until transfer deadline day when I finally boiled over.

 

As soon as training had finished, I stormed over to him and ripped my gloves off in an aggressive manner. I was so angry that the lads said later the aggression was pouring out of me. I raised my voice.

 

The lads could see I was fuming, so all hung around to see what would happen — footballers love seeing a bit of confrontation on the training ground!

 

I was furious with him, absolutely fuming, and in my head I could hear a devilish voice saying ‘Punch him in the face – punch him in the face and he’ll let you go to Germany’.

 

To be completely honest, I genuinely considered punching Rafa in the face. Then the consequences of doing so flashed through my mind. Would he let me go? Or would it just lead to a massive media scandal? Surely I couldn’t stay if I gave him a smack?

 

I don’t know how, but I managed to stop myself.

 

Punching a Liverpool manager who had won the European Cup only a few months earlier wouldn’t have looked too good on the CV, I guess, but I was still angry.

 

“You said you’d help me. You said you’d do everything to get a deal through. You didn’t mean it. You promised you would help me but now I have a concrete offer you’ve not kept your word.”

 

As I walked off towards the dressing room, Stevie walked alongside me.

 

“You wanted to punch him, didn’t you, lad? You really wanted to f***ing punch him...”

 

I explained to the lads in the dressing room how he’d promised to help me move but was now going back on what he said.

 

I worked under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and while no such thing as an ideal coach exists you’d be close to finding it if you combined his and Rafa’s qualities.

 

Mourinho had more respect in the dressing room because he was a more personable character who spoke to his players as people.

 

It was a different philosophy, but one that helped players to accept his demands in training more than they did from Benitez.

 

Most of the lads didn’t like it and Stevie was one of them.

 

I knew he had some issues with Rafa and twice it looked like he might leave Liverpool for Chelsea.

 

Rafa wanted him to leave – I think he thought he could buy three or four players with the money – but, deep down, Stevie didn’t want to go.

 

I know that the relationship between Stevie and Rafa was never the same afterwards and because Benitez had played games with me regarding a potential transfer I was on Stevie’s side, even if I decided not to say anything publicly.

 

Stevie once said to me that it would have been great if Mourinho could have taken over at Anfield when Rafa left.

 

I think it was after my leaving, when I came to Liverpool as a Real Madrid player in the Champions League. I remember those words well, even if it was just a casual conversation.

 

I think Liverpool could have improved under Mourinho. Stevie and Jose had a mutual respect.

 

It’s a pity that Stevie didn’t come to Real.

 

In my opinion, that move would have extended his career at the top level for at least two years and he would have learned even more by playing for Mourinho.

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Someone's a bit bitter.

 

Hopefully a few of the current lot think the same of Klopp when he ruthlessly moves then on weeks after lifting a European trophy this summer.

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The best lies always include a large slice of truth, and whether Jerzy's tale here is accurate or not (fuck knows) that account of how Rafa played his transfer couldn't sound more like his MO. He's nailed the bit about using the end of the transfer window as leverage, hasn't he.

 

There is a reason clubs like his current one were up in arms when he offered them Insua, a 7 year old still wearing his cub uniform and some newly printed A4 for Milner. Far from an isolated incident.

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Operational TLW policy: If Rafa is referenced negatively, a discussion may ensue; If Rafa is referenced positively, one is to post " FFS, not this again" with indignant demands it be removed to another forum.

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Operational TLW policy: If Rafa is referenced negatively, a discussion may ensue; If Rafa is referenced positively, one is to post " FFS, not this again" with indignant demands it be removed to another forum.

Never had a side in The Rafa Wars, mate.

 

I like the guy, always will. He was a fucker for trying to be too clever for his own good and pissing people off though, not least in the transfer market.

 

No hand rubbing pervert accusations from me.

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Dudek's got a book to sell. The punch thing spices it up a bit and might help shift a few more copies, tis all.

 

Reina was a better goalie than Dudek, so nothing to see there. Rafa as a manager didn't have a lot of time for the arm round the shoulder approach, which everyone knows, but as some of the former players look at their CL winners medal they will be glad for the time they spent under Rafa's tutelage.

 

There is a perception that Rafa is aloof, but that professional trait should not be confused with him being uncaring. For example, witness the Hillsborough gesture, or even note his playful side last week on the bench with Sissoko's kid at Newcastle.

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