Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez says Steven Gerrard’s description of their relationship at Liverpool is “wrong,” hinting that the motivation for making the claims is to sell his new book.
In Gerrard’s soon-to-be-published second autobiography, “My Story,” the current LA Galaxy midfielder claims Benitez was an excellent tactical coach, but “emotionless and distant” as a person, and that they have no relationship at present.
The comments have generated much media publicity and surprised many given the pair appeared to have worked well together during six years at Liverpool — with Gerrard playing some of the best football of his career and lifting the Champions League and FA Cup under Benitez’s guidance.
Asked for his reaction to the furore by Spanish TV show Jugones, the Madrid coach said he did not agree with Gerrard’s telling of the story, but did not want to get into any public exchange of opinions.
“I have read the comments, and I believe [Gerrard] is wrong,” Benitez said. “But, what we must do now is just enjoy things. I have respect for Stevie and affection for him, for Liverpool, the club, and its fans. So I think it is best to let it go and not add anything else.”
The serialised extracts from Gerrard’s book also include criticism of Benitez’s lack of manners, with the Spaniard apparently bluntly asking the midfielder’s mother when they first met if her son “liked money.”
Benitez also told Jugones that such controversial comments about someone who is now coach of a club like Madrid would help Gerrard make more money from his latest book.
“He is publishing a book, and now that I am Real Madrid coach, it will sell better,” he said.