'Football is one big lie. There are lots of things you can’t say in public,' he said.
So, with that revelation in mind, I got to thinking about some of the things Benitez may have lied about…
1) First and mostly obviously, Benitez lied in 2007 whilst still manager of Liverpool when he said:
'Chelsea is a big club with fantastic players, every manager wants to coach a such a big team but I would never take that job, in respect for my former team at Liverpool, no matter what. For me there is only club in England, and that’s Liverpool.'
2) Then, when he did in fact take the job at Chelsea at the end of last year, coming in to replace fans favourite Roberto Di Matteo, he was roundly disliked and very unpopular – I don’t think I have ever seen a manager so comprehensively not supported by the fans. But, nonetheless, Rafa was optimistic in May (just before leaving) when he said:
'I was quite happy with the response of a lot of the fans.'
Pull the other one.
3) Part of the reason Benitez left was due to the fact he was only hired on an ‘interim’ basis which was a matter of contention for him last season that pretty much spelled the end of his time as Blues boss.
'Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager, which is a massive mistake. I'm the manager.'
Well, it turns out he really was ‘interim manager’ after all. Chelsea weren’t that interim and he really wasn’t that into them either.
4) Then, of course came the return to Anfield as boss of the opposition. Prior to the game last season, Benitez insisted it was just any other game and there was no room for sentiment:
'The main thing is to stay in the top three and what I want is to win at Liverpool.'
However, as you can see in this clip here, he struggled to distance himself from the emotion of the occasion and quite clearly there was more than just three points on his mind as the Kop faithful fans sang 'You'll Never Walk Alone.'
5) Benitez was reunited at Chelsea with his former star striker at Anfield who he sincerely believed was going to improve his form.
'He's been working hard and we could see he was improving,' he said.
We could see flying pigs too. Look, there they go!
6) Finally, there was no love lost between Benitez and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Let’s just leave it at that.
But, Benitez did try to pull the wool our eyes on that one too. When asked by reporters why he and Ferguson did not shake hands last season he explained.
'I was celebrating with my players at the end.'
Course, you were Rafa. I believe you.
image: © Doha Stadium Plus