Rafa Benitez has shot down new Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce, who has claimed in his autobiography that Liverpool’s Champions League win in 2005 had nothing to do with the Spaniard.
Speaking to Spanish television show Primer Toque (cited in Daily Mail), Benitez responded to Big Sam’s jibes in typically understated fashion – but his feelings were clear.
“Do you know who Sam Allardyce is? Do you know how many trophies he has won…? Well that’s my answer. It is what happens when someone has a book to sell. His opinion does not have a lot of value,” the undefeated Real Madrid manager said in a lengthy interview.
Considering Benitez has won La Liga, the Champions League, Europa League and various domestic cups all over Europe, while his ‘rival’ has only secured the Irish first division with Limerick, we can’t really tell why Allardyce is picking a fight with a managerial heavyweight.
Benitez also responded to Jamie Carragher’s recent claim that Liverpool turned down Gareth Bale in the mid-noughties as they believed John Arne Riise was his superior.
“Carragher has made the mistake of saying I preferred [John Arne] Riise when it wasn’t like that. I wanted to sign Bale who we had been following since 2006 but in the end Tottenham paid a lot of money for him,” he continued.
That last piece of information is still hard to take, considering Spurs only paid £10m for the Welsh superstar in 2007, according to BBC Sport.
He’s now undeniably one of the world’s best players, and if Bale had played alongside Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and co instead of Albert Riera on the left wing – our title charge in 2008/09 could’ve ended in glory.