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Rafa Made It Personal" - Steven Gerrard Details How Rafa Benitez Derailed A "Top Player's" Career At Liverpool

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Rafa Made It Personal" - Steven Gerrard Details How Rafa Benitez Derailed A "Top Player's" Career At Liverpool

A series of fascinating quotes from Steven Gerrard's autobiography have resurfaced, highlighting the detrimental effect which Rafa Benitez had on Robbie Keane's ill-fated time at Liverpool.

Pundit Arena published the quotes in Gerard's book, My Story with Donald McRae, which explains how Benitez micro-managed Keane's game.

"I had initially been delighted when we signed Robbie because he had done terrifically well at Tottenham alongside Dimitar Berbatov. But he wanted to play as number 10 at Liverpool. I felt we didn't need him in that position as I was doing so well in the role," Gerrard wrote.

"He was a good addition to the squad but I worried it could become a problem either for him or me in a battle for the same position. But, more often than not, Rafa played me as a 10. There wasn't room for both Robbie and I in Rafa's team.

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"I could see why Rafa had his doubts about playing Robbie in front of me. He had none of Torres's pace. Robbie was far better when allowed to drop in behind and pick up intelligent spaces where he could set up and score goals. But it was obvious that his relationship with Rafa would never work.

"Instead of letting Robbie be the player he had signed, Rafa tried to change him. He had Robbie attempting movements which made him uncomfortable. Robbie would have been a success under most of the managers I played with at Liverpool.

"But Rafa made it personal. I couldn't understand why Rafa tried to change a top player. Let him play his own game - that's why we signed him."

Keane made 28 appearances and scored 7 goals during his six-month spell at Anfield, in what was a blemish in an otherwise prolific goalscoring career.

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He scored 122 goals in 306 appearances across two spells with Tottenham and had highly-successful time in the States, where he linked up with Gerrard at LA Galaxy.

He found the net 105 times in 170 appearances for Galaxy, winning the MLS MVP award for the 2013/14 season and three MLS Cups.

The striker is also an undisputed legend on the international scene too, holding the Republic of Ireland record for the most caps and goals. His record of 68 goals in 146 caps will take some beating.

Topics: Liverpool, Rafa Benitez, Steven Gerrard

James Hilsum
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