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18th Apr 2017

Xabi Alonso finally reveals why he fell out with Rafa Benitez at Liverpool

Seems a bit harsh

Darragh Murphy

Rafa Benitez’s decision to part ways with Xabi Alonso in 2009 is one that is still lamented by Liverpool supporters.

The club captain at the time, Steven Gerrard, went on to write in his autobiography how he felt “It was a disastrous decision to sell Alonso, and especially for just £30 million!”

According to Gerrard, Alonso could have continued to play for the Reds for at least six more seasons.

Hailed by Gerrard as the best central midfielder he’d played alongside, Alonso holds a special place in the hearts of all Liverpool supporters and he clearly remembers his time on Merseyside fondly.

So why did the Spaniard leave Anfield so suddenly and for such little money, relatively speaking?

Alonso has since revealed what led to the breakdown in his relationship with Benitez and it doesn’t paint the manager in the greatest of lights as, apparently, Benitez became upset with the midfielder after he ruled himself out of the team’s preparation for a European tie so that he could be with his wife for the birth of the couple’s child.

“It was for the Champions League quarter-final squad against Inter,” Alonso said in an interview with El Pais. “We were going into labour, and I told Rafa that I could not go. I would go when everything was fine.

“I could have taken a flight and met them there. He didn’t accept it. I had to make a decision and I decided to be with my family.

“It wasn’t easy, my job isn’t a normal job and it was not an ordinary game, however I never have any regrets.

“If I had not done it then I wouldn’t have been present for the labour. By the way, we won 0-1 with a goal from [Fernando] Torres.”