Gerrard: I no longer talk to Rafael Benitez..he never really liked me

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has claimed he no longer speaks to Rafael Benitez because his former coach at Anfield doesn’t like him.

Despite being captain under Benitez when Liverpool beat AC Milan on penalties to win the Champions League after a 3-3 draw a decade ago, Gerrard has claimed Benitez’s dislike for him started when the Real Madrid coach met his mum.

Gerrard claimed the former Valencia manager asked his mum whether or not the England midfielder was only driven by money.

The LA Galaxy player also claims in his new book that Benitez always had a preference for Spanish players during his six-year spell running Liverpool.

“I don’t think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person. I’m not sure why, but that’s the feeling I got from him. It probably started even before he spoke to me, when he met my mum,” said Gerrard in the Daily Mail, who are serialising his autobiography.

“I used to think he favoured our Spanish speakers. He was an especially big fan of South American players, which is fine. It caused no problem between us.

“At press conferences he might call other players by their first name but I was always ‘Gerrard’. It was the same in the dressing room. He would read out the team and use nicknames. But, for me, it would just be ‘Gerrard’.”