Danny Murphy says he “knows for a fact” that Jose Mourinho was devastated not to be offered the Liverpool job after the sacking of Gerard Houllier.
The Frenchmen lost his job at the end of the 2004 season, with the club eventually deciding to offer the role to Rafa.
Jose went to Chelsea instead, the two met in the Champions League semi-final nine months later, and the rest is history.
Murphy says our board went with Benitez because he had just won the Spanish league title and UEFA Cup with Valencia, and they viewed it as a safer bet than someone who had “done it in Portugal”.
“When Benitez was appointed at Liverpool, it was between him and Mourinho. I know that for a fact. Mourinho wanted the Liverpool job massively,” he said (Echo)
“I know Mourinho was massively disappointed.”
Murphy was sold by Rafa in the summer of 2004 almost immediately after the Spaniard took over. In came Luis Garcia and Xabi Alonso to replace him, both of whom became club legends.
Rafa eventually left in the summer of 2012 after seven years at the club.