Rafael Benitez: Liverpool team’s gross selection error before the 2005 Champions League final


The back of ex-Liverpool ex Stephen Warnock revealed that a mix with the roster of players for the 2005 Champions League final led him to believe he would be involved in the match – before he is not excluded from the team.

Warnock was a marginal player for the Reds at the time, having made only six European appearances this season.

But speaking in an interview with BBC Sounds, he revealed he was devastated after first thinking he would be involved in the final against AC Milan – which Liverpool won on penalties after returning from 3 -0 – to be informed later otherwise. .

Stephen Warnock had been in and out of the Liverpool team

“It was just strange to me,” said Warnock. “I was sort of in and out of the team this season and I have dented myself in the Liverpool team.

“I had played in six or seven games, whether as a submarine or starting with the Champions League before the final.

“Then, the last game of the season, we played Aston Villa at home and I played the game. We had a two-week break between the finals, so I trained until the final.

“What Rafa used to do was come after training and he made a list of 18 players. So if you were in the 18th, you knew you were at least on the bench. “

Warnock said Rafael Benitez was not always the best manager

“The roster has grown and I was on the bench, so I was delighted. I called home and told everyone to get ready for Istanbul because I’m at least on the bench. “

“Two hours later, I received a call from Pako Ayestaran who was the deputy director at the time of Rafa. He said “listen, we made a mistake. The list of team members was incorrect. You’re not on the team. ” But it wasn’t ‘Rafa who made the call, it was Pako Ayestaran.

“It was kind of a kick in the teeth. As the local man who supported Liverpool as he grew up, it was the ultimate dream of going to a Champions League final playing for the team you grew up supporting. It was suddenly taken from me. ”

Warnock was far from impressed with Benitez’s human management skills, adding, “I didn’t even want to go. It was hard.

Warnock ended up missing the glory of the Champions League

“We went on the day of the match when the team went two days earlier. You go there and you want them to do well but you are also devastated not to be involved and that was taken away from me. “

“The most annoying part of it was that I still hadn’t spoken to the manager. He hadn’t had the guys to face me and tell me. Make no mistake – I know he had a final Champions League to prepare.

“You are talking about the management of men and how to take care of the players. It was not the way to do it. “


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