Steven Gerrard Reveals He Made Rafa Benitez Cancel Key Transfer At Liverpool
Steven Gerrard revealed how he convinced Rafa Benitez against signing Gareth Barry to replace Xabi Alonso in 2008.
Benitez was in charge at Anfield between 2004 and 2010 and led the team to two Champions League finals, including the famous success in 2005 against AC Milan.
During his time in charge the Spaniard managed an impressive midfield that included Gerrard and Alonso but decided to try and freshen things up by replacing Alonso with Aston Villa's Barry.
Gerrard revealed that he didn't want that change, though he wasn't totally against the signing of his fellow Englishman.
"He wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth," Gerrard told BT Sport in 2017, "Now, for me that wasn't the right move, although I'm a big fan of Gareth Barry.
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"I'd rather have him in to play alongside Xabi because I think they could have worked together.
"I don't think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth. The fans love Xabi, he's a world-class player, and for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him and not have him move on."
Benitez's desire to sign Barry didn't come to fruition, whether because of his captain's interjection or not, but it did upset Alonso.
The former Real Sociedad player did eventually move to Real Madrid and Barry instead moved to Manchester City as they were building a team to compete at top of the table.
Alonso went on to win La Liga and the Champions League with Los Blancos before moving to Bayern Munich and winning three Bundesliga titles.