It did not take Sir Alex Ferguson long did it?
Sir Alex wasted no time in reigniting the old feud from Benitez's Liverpool days by branding him “lucky” to have the chance to win a second Club World Cup.
Here's what he said in a press conference ahead of this weekend's game against QPR, from The Sun:
"Benitez has been trying to get a job for a long time and he is very lucky because on his CV in two weeks' time he could have two world club titles to his name - and had nothing to do with the teams. Jose Mourinho won the treble at Inter; Rafa took over and they won the world title without having to do anything. He had nothing to do with the construction of the team."
Ferguson and Benitez have a long history of winding each other up, with most of the winding coming from the Manchester United man’s corner.
It all came to a head in 2009 when Ferguson dismissed Liverpool’s title challenge by claiming they would choke.
Benitez lost it, and during his press conference, reeled off a serious of “facts” about the apparent influence Sir Alex has over the FA and referees.
Here are a few snippets of what he said:
“Mr Ferguson was charged by the FA for improper conduct after comments he made about Martin Atkinson and Keith Hackett. He was not punished. He is the only manager in the League that cannot be punished for these things.”
“Then he was talking about fixtures. Two years ago we were playing a lot of early kick-offs away on Saturdays when United were playing on Sundays, and we didn’t say anything. Now, he is complaining about everything, that everybody is against United. But the second half of the season will see them [United] playing at home against all the teams at the top of the table. It is a fantastic advantage.”
“There are two options if we don't want more problems with fixtures. One is the same as in Spain; the draw for the first part of the League is known, everyone knows which weekend. In the second half everyone plays the opposite, so you all know.”
"Or there is another option; that Mr Ferguson organises the fixtures in his office and sends it to us and everyone will know and cannot complain. That is simple.”
"We know what happens every time we go to Old Trafford and the United staff. They are always going man to man with the referees, especially at half-time when they walk close to the referees and they are talking and talking.”
"All managers need to know is that only Mr Ferguson can talk about the fixtures, can talk about referees and nothing happens.”
"We need to know that I am talking about facts, not my impression. There are things that everyone can see every single week.”
He went on... and on... but it is clear that Sir Alex Ferguson’s world-renowned mind games got to the then Liverpool manager on this occasion.
Benitez may have a point, but if the Blues want to compete with United this season, he will have to keep his cool.
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