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Quoted: Benitez Hits Out at Houllier Claims

After Gerard Houllier argued that he had played a decisive role in Liverpool’s Champions League success, former Reds manager Rafa Benitez has hit back at the claims from the Frenchman who claimed credit because “apart from two players, they had been signed or developed under me”. The Spaniard took over from Houllier after a six-year spell at the club ended and had instant success in Europe’s elite competition, thanks in some part to bringing in his countrymen Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia. Benitez left Liverpool last season and has since been hired and fired by reigning Champions League winners Inter Milan. In his time out of the game Benitez has revealed that he hopes for a return to management in England and has been linked with a return to Anfield, as well as a move to Villa if his Reds predecessor was to be released after a dismal first campaign at Villa Park. To read Benitez’ comments

“The last two years of Houllier were not the best.

“I was in charge because they decided to change, so that is one crucial point for me too.

“But the way we arrived at the final, we had a lot of good games and there were a lot of top sides that we beat.

“Key players for us, Alonso and Luis Garcia, were not in the squad (under Houllier) and also the approach of the game changed.

“At Valencia, I tried to play higher and press higher, so you can see the tactics were different, the commitment was different and the passion of the players was different.

“It was a different team.”

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