benayoun benitez 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Yossi Benayoun launched a scathing attack on his former Liverpool manager Rafa
Benitez on Sunday, claiming the Spaniard tried to break his spirit and treated
him with a lack of respect.
The 30-year-old Israel captain left Liverpool
for Premier League champion Chelsea in a £5.5million move earlier this month and
on Sunday blasted Benitez in uncharacteristic fashion.
"Everyone asks me
why I left Liverpool,” Benayoun told the News of The World.
only one reason – Rafa Benitez.
“I agreed to join Chelsea before Roy
Hodgson was appointed Liverpool’s new manager.
“It’s a dream for me such
a fantastic club have given me this opportunity.
But I want Liverpool
fans to know the truth and for them to know I made up my mind to leave a long
time ago because of Benitez. He never treated me with the respect I deserved. If
I played well, I never felt he gave me credit.
“When I scored, I still
expected to be out of the team the next game. And when the fans wanted me to
play, Benitez told me he couldn’t understand why.”
Benayoun, who made 134
appearances during his three seasons with the Reds after joining from West Ham
in May 2007, continued: “There are many examples of him treating me
“On two occasions early last season, against Fulham and Lyon, the
fans booed when I was subbed. They thought I was playing well but Benitez told
me he was surprised the fans booed because I was not good enough. It was as if
the fans’ reaction worked against me. The situation got worse
“He told me I was a better player as a substitute instead of
starting in the team. Then, when we played Birmingham after I hadn’t started a
game for a month, he didn’t tell me I was starting until two hours before the
game. He tried to destroy my confidence. You can’t treat a player like this and
expect him to be happy.
“I felt so unhappy but, out of respect to the
club, I never spoke out. The players and the people at the top of the
how I felt. I don’t want to speak on behalf of other players at
people know what happened to Albert Riera and Xabi Alonso. It was the
me. Benitez tried to break me like he broke Riera. I was sure he wanted
attack him in the press during the season so he could turn the fans
so I kept quiet. I felt he was waiting for me to make a mistake so he
it against me.”
The midfield magician went on to reveal that Benitez
essentially pushed him out of the club at the end of last season.
day before the final game of last season at Hull, Benitez pulled me to
after training and said: ‘You will not be in the squad for this
Thank you for your three years of service, now you can call your
agent to do a deal with another club.’ That’s when Chelsea made an offer
deal was done before Benitez left.”
Benayoun understands that he will
have to work extremely hard to break into Chelsea’s lineup.
stupid. I know Chelsea have many great players and it will be hard to
the team every week,” he said.
“But what’s important for me is I know I
will be treated with respect.
“Carlo Ancelotti is a fantastic manager and
he knows how to treat players.”