Rafael Benítez: It was ‘strange’ not to be offered the Liverpool job
Rafael Benítez reveals he was surprised that his old club failed to approach him after the sacking of Kenny Dalglish in the summer
Rafael Benítez has revealed he was surprised that Liverpool’s owners did not approach him to succeed Kenny Dalglish earlier this summer.
Fenway Sports Group opted to bring in Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers to replace the sacked Scot, despite some supporters expressing their desire to see Benítez return to the Merseyside outfit.
“It was strange not to be approached,” Benítez told the Irish Independent.
“We know the club, the players, the Academy and we have even more experience now…the fans were positive about the idea.”
He added: “We used to play so many important games that it seemed it was normal and it wasn’t.
“People were talking about ‘the past’, but just a few years ago Liverpool FC was No.1 in Europe.”
Benítez, who guided Liverpool to the Champions League title and FA Cup crown during a six-year spell at Anfield, was linked with Sampdoria earlier this summer.
But the former Valencia manager turned down the Serie A outfit’s advances, with Benítez holding out for a club that can compete for the trophies on a regular basis.
“I want to come back as soon as possible. But it doesn’t depend on me. I need a challenge,” Benítez said in August.
“I have had some offers. People say, ‘Oh Rafa, you’re not getting a job’, but it’s not true.
“We had offers, but it has to be the right offer. You want to win trophies and challenge for trophies. It has to be a top side if possible. If not, we will see.”
He added: “One was very clear, it was from Sampdoria this year. It was a three-year project, they are really good and really professional, but they can’t compete against the top sides.
“But I said we cannot compete against the top sides, and when you’ve won the top trophies, you want to be able to compete.”