Biographical Portrait of Liverpool’s Spanish football manager Rafael Benitez and an extraordinary season for the club.
When Rafael Benitez was appointed manager of under-achieving Liverpool at the start of the 2004-2005 season, the reaction of many fans was ‘Who the **** is Rafael Benitez?’. The Liverpool fans had grown used to French manager Gerard Houllier but he had been a fan of the club himself since his days as a teacher on Merseyside. A Spaniard with admittedly a wonderful record at Valencia was going to take over management of Liverpool’s famous Boot Room and try and win over a disillusioned Kop.
But in one season, Benitez’s importation of Spanish players, coaching methods and diet has led to a revolution, even usurping Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, whereby the team has ended the season winning the ultimate trophy for any European club – the European Champions League. No fan will ever forget the comeback from a 3-0 deficit to a 3-3 scoreline, then dramatic success in the penalty shoot-out.