Rafael Benitez Fires Back at Roy Hodgson, Igniting War of Words Between Former and Current Liverpool Managers


LONDON — Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez launched an attack on his successor Roy Hodgson on Monday for commenting on events that happened before he arrived at Anfield.

Hodgson claimed Sunday that Benitez had banned Liverpool scout and ambassador Kenny Dalglish from the club's training ground during the Spanish manager's time there.

Benitez, speaking ahead of new side Inter Milan's Champions League match against Tottenham on Tuesday, hit back by saying Hodgson is "talking about things that he doesn't know."

"Some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar," Benitez said. "Maybe he hasn't been at Liverpool too long.

"I brought back Kenny Dalglish to do a role in the club and [Liverpool's ex-managing director] Christian Purslow gave him another role. [Hodgson] doesn't know but I will explain it to him."

Benitez's latest comments came just two weeks after a first outburst directed at his former club — using similarly cryptic language.

On that occasion, while criticizing Purslow and Liverpool's former American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr., Benitez bizarrely compared events leading up to his departure last summer after six years at the club to a bottle of milk.

"We have a saying in Spanish, which is: 'White liquid in a bottle has to be milk,'" Benitez said. "What does this mean? It means that after 86 points and finishing second in the league, what changed? The Americans, they chose a new managing director and everything changed."

Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League in what proved to be Benitez's last season in charge but things have gotten worse under Hodgson.

The 18-time champions were in the league's relegation zone for a month before Sunday's 1-0 victory at Bolton, which lifted them up to 12th.

Hodgson was last week quoted as saying the Liverpool squad contained too many "expensive failures."

"I left that squad with 300 million pounds ($477 million) value, 13 internationals," Benitez countered Monday. "So, instead of talking about flips and flops, [Hodgson] has to concentrate on his [own] job."

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