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Carragher: Why Liverpool Snubbed Mourinho And Appointed Benitez As Manager 

Carragher: Why Liverpool Snubbed Mourinho And Appointed Benitez As Manager 

Liverpool great Jamie Carragher has revealed reasons why the Merseyside club pass up the chance to appoint Jose Mourinho and instead went for Rafa Benitez as manager.

Both managers were held in high regard when they moved to English football in 2004 – Mourinho had just won the Champions League with Porto while Benitez had guided Valencia to the La Liga title and the UEFA Cup  (now Europa League).

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However, although Mourinho’s name was mentioned following Gerard Houlier’s sacking at Anfield, Carragher has given his reasons as to why Benitez was preferred that summer. 

“Gerard Houllier had lost his job, and Rick Parry (chief executive) had interviewed Rafa Benitez at some stage,” Carragher told Sky Sports’ football podcast. 

“He was just keeping the senior players informed about where they were up to, and he did mention Jose Mourinho.

“I think even that run down the line, even though it was great, at Old Trafford, the feeling was at the club and maybe from certain players that it wasn’t really the Liverpool way of doing things.”

Carragher continued: “I think the feeling was that Jose Mourinho couldn’t be a Liverpool manager, possibly because of the way he conducted himself at times.

“So I always thought we’d go for Rafa with him being a little bit more standoffish.’

And during his time as Chelsea manager, Mourinho won two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge as well as two League Cups and an FA Cup.

Benitez, contrastingly, struggled domestically during his six years at Anfield but famously won the Champions League in 2005 and clinched the FA Cup the following season.

The Spaniard famously stopped Mourinho’s Chelsea in the semi-final of the 2004-2005 Champions League.

Both teams met again in the semi-final in the 2006/2007 season with Benitez triumphing once again this time via penalty shootout.

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