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Liverpool Champions League hero's snub 'affected everyone' and left Jamie Carragher confused with Rafa Benitez

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Rafa Benitez will forever be remembered as one of the all-time great managers of Liverpool Football Club.

Having made the move to Anfield from Valencia in the summer of 2004, the Spaniard guided the Reds to the pinnacle of Europe less than twelve months later as he defied the odds to topple one of the game's most remarkable sides, AC Milan, in the 2005 Champions League final.

READ MORE: Liverpool face fixture chaos with massive pile-up caused by Champions League READ MORE: 'The simple answer' - Roy Keane sends blunt Liverpool message ahead of Premier League season But for all the joyous moments he brought supporters during his six-year spell at Anfield, Benitez's final years coincided with the club's downfall towards the end of the 2000s as American duo Tom Hicks and George Gillett took ownership of the club in the summer of 2007 from the late David Moores.

Barry, who would end his career with a record-breaking 653 Premier League appearances, had become a dependable stalwart for Martin O'Neil's promising Aston Villa side as he started all but one of the league games in the 2007/08 season, where the Villains achieved an impressive sixth-place finish and pushed Benitez side for a place in the following season's Champions League.

We were close to having a team that could win the Premier League and perhaps reach another Champions League final.

Yet despite the once-in-a-lifetime memories the 62-year-old Spaniard provided the travelling Kop with, as he reached two Champions League finals in three seasons, it was his bizarre attempt to force midfield maestro Xabi Alonso out the doors of Anfield in a bid to lure Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry to the club in the summer of 2008 which left Reds supporters disgruntled.

The Spanish midfielder played 47 times as Benitez's men fell short of a maiden Premier League title just a few weeks after exiting the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea in the quarter-final stage.
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