Liverpool legend and former midfielder Steven Gerrard has revealed that it was fooling decision on the then Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez’s part to sell a player like Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.
In his new book, ‘My Story’ Gerrard said: “It was clear Alonso was royalty after our first training session together in August 2004, and Rafa Benitez, who had been so clever to buy him in the first place, was equally stupid to sell him to Real Madrid five years later.
“He was, by some distance, the best central midfielder I ever played alongside.
“It was a disastrous decision to sell Alonso, and especially for just £30million — which looks a snip now when you reflect on all he has achieved subsequently, both at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and with Spain, winning the Euros and the World Cup.
“I blame Rafa entirely for the loss of Alonso. He could still have been playing for Liverpool six or seven years after he left in 2009.”
Steven Gerrard also criticised his former team mate El Hadji Diouf and said that he has monitored each every player Liverpool has bought this summer. He said that he would like to see if the new signings become ‘king’ like Alonso or ‘prat’ like El Hadji Diouf.
He was quoted: “I had seen a staggering number of new signings walk into the Liverpool training ground.
“I watched every single one of their first training sessions with close attention, wondering whether we’d bought a star or another dud, a king or a prat, a Xabi Alonso or an El Hadji Diouf, a Luis Suarez or a Mario Balotelli.”
Rafael Benitez himself had bought Xabi Alonso in 2004. He was an integral part of Liverpool’s historic Champions League triupmh at Istanbul in 2005. Alonso has been hailed by several players as one of the central midfielders of this generation.
Benitez sold Alonso in 2009 to Real Madrid apparently because the Spaniard wanted Gareth Barry at the club.