• Premier League

Reina: Benitez was 'ideal candidate'

ESPN staff
June 1, 2012
Rafa Benitez won the Champions League while in charge of Liverpool © Getty Images

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has suggested that there was a consensus among his team-mates that Rafa Benitez was the "ideal candidate" to take over from Kenny Dalglish as manager.

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers is expected to be named as Dalglish's successor at a press conference on Friday, having fought off competition from Wigan's Roberto Martinez for the role.

Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool, reportedly had a preference to appoint a young, up-and-coming manager, which always left Benitez, 52, as an outside candidate.

But sections of the Liverpool support were willing to get behind a return for Benitez, who managed the club between 2004 and 2010 and won the Champions League and FA Cup - and it seems Reina felt the same way.

"For many of my colleagues and me, Rafa Benitez would be the ideal candidate," Reina said, according to the Mirror. "He is the coach who shaped me most, he's the best."

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