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Liverpool Confirm Rafa Benitez's Departure From Anfield

 Liverpool Confirm Rafa Benitez's Departure From Anfield

Liverpool has confirmed that Rafa Benitez is leaving the club by mutual consent.

“Rafa will forever be part of Liverpool folklore after bringing home the Champions League following the epic final in Istanbul but after a disappointing season both parties felt a fresh start would be best for all concerned,” said Liverpool FC Chairman Martin Broughton.

In a prepared statement on the club’s website, Benitez said, “Rafael Benitez said: “It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC. I would like to thank all of the staff and players for their efforts. I’ll always keep in my heart the good times I’ve had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool. I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You’ll never walk alone.”

The Liverpool board has now asked Managing Director Christian Purslow, with the assistance of Club Ambassador Kenny Dalglish, to begin a formal search to identify and assess potential candidates for the managerial position.

Benitez’s departure from Liverpool is the end of an era for the Merseyside club who achieved the incredible success of winning the Champions League Final in one of the most amazing matches ever in 2005. And then nearly won it again when they lost against AC Milan in the 2007 Final when the Reds lost 2-1.

In the meantime, it looks like Benitez is the favorite to become the new manager at Inter Milan.

What’s your opinion about the news? While I’ve been a big critic of Benitez this season, I’ve been an admirer of his accomplishments during his six year tenure at Liverpool. But his departure from the club was necessary after it seemed that this season, the players stopped playing for him. Plus, not qualifying for the Champions League is a massive financial blow for the Reds.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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19 Responses to Liverpool Confirm Rafa Benitez's Departure From Anfield

  1. Mac Ingram says:

    This news isn’t a shock to most of us Reds considering that Hicks and Gillette will do whatever it takes to f**k us over. This story just caught fire within the past 3 days…now it has abruptly hit the conclusion. Our club is now without a manager, we have low transfer funds, star players who are all considered on the verge of leaving, and no promising answers to our ownership crises.

    It’s going to be tough finding a manager right now with the state of the club. Hopefully we can lure someone like Martin O’neal to get us back on track, but I don’t see that happening until H and G are completely out of the picture.

    I appreciate what Rafa did during his 6 years and we’ll never forget Istanbul, but it was his time to leave and for the club to move forward.

    YNWA

  2. ovalball says:

    Well, at least now all the speculation is over and we can start another line. Who in his right mind is going to look at Liverpool’s situation and think, “Yeah, I want some of that!”? Still, a great club, so someone will.

    As for Rafa going to Inter, I’m not saying he won’t, but how great can it be going to a club that you can only take down and piss off the fans? The Special One is not an act many would wish to follow.

  3. Scott Alexander says:

    If I were in charge, Delio Rossi would be my number one target amongst feasible gets.

  4. Raatzie says:

    Rafa is not without blame, but H+G are the primary villains of this piece.

    I’d feel better about this if I knew that this were a player’s rebellion. We’ll never know that for sure, but where Torres, Gerrard, and Mascherano wind up will be a big hint.

    If I’m Rafa, I take a year off, for precisely the reason ovalball cites. Find a club on the crux of good things and with money to spend.

  5. brn442 says:

    Benitez wasn’t brought in to qualify for the Champions League
    Benitez wasn’t brought in to win the Champions League.

    Rafa was hired to win the League and on that point he failed miserably.
    He is one of the best mangers on the world, and the team is better in terms of quality than when he arrived but 70+ players and over 200,000 pounds later, they are still not good enough. As a Liverpool supporter, I thank him for his hard work and professionalism, especially during the recent turmoil in the boardroom but it’s the right time to part ways, for him and the club. Best of luck to him.

    • Clampdown says:

      I agree with everything you’ve said here. Let’s just hope H&G can sell very soon and get out of the way. It may be a tough couple of years ahead.

  6. UpTheBlues says:

    YNWA

    You’ll Never Win Anything

  7. colin says:

    Im sorry to see Rafa go,pity H andG not going first plus some of the board room staff.They have done quite bit of damage behind Rafas back,the players should also take part of the blame for liverpools poor showning this season.Who else will now follow Rafa out of the club only time will tell.would not blame the star players for leaving.

  8. CTBlues says:

    Happy trails Rafa. You came to Anfield in 2004 and never won the league, but you did win the Champions League and FA Cup once. I’m kinda sad that you are leaving ‘iverpool because I think they might be better off without you.

  9. UpTheBlues says:

    So, who replaces Rafa? Hiddink, Rijkaard?

  10. snavetrebor says:

    Sad to see him go, but sometimes it’s better to part ways and start over.

    Does Guus Hiddink enjoy Turkish food that much or what? I don’t see O’Neill or Hodgson making sense, even if they would leave their clubs. Klinsmann would be the intriguing pick but his tenure at Bayerische Fussball Werke didn’t go so well.

  11. Tyson says:

    I don’t think the primary concern is Rafa leaving I think the primary concern is keeping players that were loyal to Rafa staying at the club.

    First two names that come to mind are Torres and Reina. They were both quite loyal to Rafa and I think Torres is likely to leave the club.

    On the other hand Steven Gerrard seemed quite unhappy with the way Benitez was doing things so maybe he won’t leave Liverpool despite all the stuff Mourinho has been saying about him.

    Either way I think the parting was for the better and as long as there is no fallout from it that messes things up with other players everything should be okay.

    • Paul Bestall says:

      There is growing speculation that it’s Torres and Gerrard wanting to leave that have forced the clubs hand.

  12. Sport says:

    Rafa will always play good football, but not for free, it’s part of sport.

  13. fivestardive says:

    If I was a Liverfool fan I’d be so happy to see this guy go, its the manager and players that loose games not the owners, He spent alot of money and got s h i t results…that is the managers fault.

    I’d be worried that Mr Liverpool (SG) and Torres will be leaving the club, but not that either did much this year so maybe that would be a good thing…

    Liverpool beats Manutd, it might be bragging rights but it’s not silverware, at lest the red devils got the Carling…and I’ll let you in on a secret, we/us/me the MANU fans made a deal with the devil, we said we will decline to win the league as long as Liverpool are out of the top 4…it obviously worked. ;-)

  14. Carolyn says:

    It was definitely time for Rafa to go. Liverpool played some of the most uninspiring football under his management. He always rated hard work over skill and it finally caught up with him. His tactics were never going to win Liverpool the domestic title. People should remember that the two major trophies he won were won on penalty shootouts. He never understood the Premier league even after 6 years in charge, and say what you want about the owners but in dismissing Benitez they did the right thing.

    Who should be the new manager? Someone who understands the Premier league because what every Liverpool fan wants foremost is to win the EPL title. My choice would be Roy Hodgson.

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