Rafa Benitez’s contribution to Peter Kenny Jones’ forthcoming book Crossing the Park: The Men Who Dared to Play for Both Liverpool and Everton, has been shared online.
Benitez spoke about his time with the Red and the Blue half of Merseyside.
Unsurprisingly he stated that Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League victory was his most special moment at Anfield.
“When I first arrived at Anfield I was surprised by the people, they were very friendly, they tried to help with adapting to the new place from day one.
“I feel at home in Merseyside, my family is completely at home here and that is important. The Liverpool fans are still kind and close today, many of the Everton fans know what actually happened and are, let’s say, friendly.”
Benitez said he is not more Liverpool or Everton.
“I can’t say I’m more Liverpool or Everton today. Logically, in six years there were a lot of highs at Liverpool, but I still have good friends amongst the Everton fans.
“With Everton, the best moment was the 2-1 win in December against Arsenal.
“I’d rather not talk about the bad moments. I don’t think that managing Everton tarnished my reputation at Anfield; the Liverpool fans understood that my family and my home are here and that I hadn’t been managing for a while, so many accepted this.”
Benitez is warmly regarded amongst Liverpool fans despite taking the coaching role at bitter local rivals Everton.
Liverpool and Everton face each tonight in one of the most hotly anticipated derby’s for years.