Rafa Benitez spoke of his admiration for the style of football adopted by Liverpool this season, but warned Reds manager Jurgen Klopp that his side must win trophies if they are to be remembered.
Benitez returns to Anfield this weekend with his current charges Newcastle, and should receive a warm ovation from all corners of the ground. The Spaniard spent six successful years at Liverpool, winning the Champions League and the FA Cup in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Jurgen Klopp hails Rafa Benitez as a "Liverpool legend' and "one of the best managers in the world" ahead of his Anfield return.— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) March 2, 2018
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Comparing Klopp's current team to that one, Benitez warned that this Liverpool side must capitalise on the talent available to them if they are to go down in Anfield folklore.
"In 2009, there was a short period when we beat Real Madrid in the Bernabeu 1-0, we beat Man United 4-1, we beat Real Madrid 4-0 and then Aston Villa, who were doing well at the time, 5-0," recalled Benitez, quoted by the Daily Mail.
"They were the days when we were playing attacking, aggressive football, similar to this Liverpool side.
"But they don't talk about that week when we won 5-0 against Aston Villa. They don't remember the games. They remember the trophies. The way you do things is important, yes, but after, you have to win."
Since Benitez left Anfield in 2010, the Reds have won just one League Cup in 2012, and that trophy drought looks set to continue for another year, with Liverpool out of contention for the FA Cup and Premier League. Only the outside chance of Champions League glory offers a potential route to silverware.
"I think that this Liverpool side have the potential to do it [win trophies]," said Benitez. I like to watch them. They play with quality and pace and that is what makes the difference in football. They are also strong physically and they work very hard. It is a very good team."