Rafa Benitez once left Steven Gerrard in stitches with warning at Liverpool
Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has revealed how he once left Steven Gerrard and the rest of the Reds in stitches after a slight slip of his tongue.
Benitez made his mark in Anfield’s history books after guiding the Merseysiders to the Champions League title in 2005 during his first year at the helm.
However, it looks like things weren’t always hunky for the Spaniard in his debut season, having swapped sunny Valencia for foggy Liverpool.
Telling a story about trying to advise Captain Gerrard who was struggling to find the target due to the wind, Benitez’s not-yet-perfect Englishman left the Reds laughing.
“I studied French at school, but while I was studying English I had the Beatles Red and Blue albums, so I read the lyrics,” Benitez said.
“At that point, I was like, ‘Is that English?’ They just spoke with Scouse accents; it was different.
“I remember the first night I went with my wife (to England) there was a terrible storm and I was like, ‘What are we doing here?’
“We came from Valencia where the weather was wonderful. But after a while, everything was fine.
“From the first moment, the people were great; they treated us fantastic. The linguistic side of things was a little easier for me because, although it was difficult, we were talking about football. (One windy day in practice) we were doing set pieces. Stevie Gerrard was shooting on goal and it was too windy.
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“I said, ‘Watch out for the wine’. They started to laugh. So I was like “What’s going on?” Instead of saying “wind”, I said “wine”.
“People generally don’t understand the importance of these details. When you have to give a speech, at half-time, you have to keep the mood intense and their attention, and also tell the players what to do.
“As soon as you mispronounce a word or say something that doesn’t quite sound quite right, you lose their focus.”