Steven Gerrard insists he wasn’t surprised to see Rafa Benitez take the Everton job despite his ties to Liverpool.
The former Anfield manager was named Carlo Ancelotti’s successor earlier this week after the Italian’s surprise exit to Real Madrid earlier this summer.
Benitez etched his name into Liverpool’s record books during his time at the club as he led them to a miraculous Champions League victory in 2005 against AC Milan in a penalty shootout despite trailing 3-0 at the break.
But his allegiances to the Reds didn’t stop him from taking the Toffees job as he couldn’t pass up a return to the Premier League.
Steven Gerrard during a Rangers press conference at The Rangers Training Centre
(Image: Rangers FC via PA Images)
Were you surprised to see Rafa Benitez take the Everton job? Comment below
And Gerrard, who played under Benitez, was not shocked to see him join Liverpool’s rivals as he doesn’t feel his former boss is in the same situation as somebody like himself, who was brought up on Merseyside.
However, the Rangers boss couldn’t believe that his name linked with the post as he was adamant that he would never manage Everton.
He told ESPN : “Rafa wasn’t born in the city, he’s not a red through-and-through and he never played against Everton for 20 years and competed against them, so I think it’s a very different situation [to mine].
“Rafa is his own man and will make his own professional decisions, so there’s no surprise that he wanted to get back in the Premier League at a big club and have the opportunity to compete against all the top teams in the league.
“I wasn’t very shocked and surprised at all in all honesty.
“I was very shocked and surprised that my name was linked to the job. I don’t know where it came from, whether it was paper talk or if there was any truth in it, I’m not really sure.
“[Managing Everton] is never a possibility as far as I’m concerned.”