Anthony Le Tallec reveals why his relationship with Rafa Benitez has deteriorated

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Young talent Anthony Le Tallec, who emerged as a teenager at Le Havre, stepped up to Liverpool in the summer of 2002.He was rated as one of the most promising young talents and made a total of 32 appearances for Liverpool at Anfield.

In the 2004/05 Liverpool season, after the Miracle in Istanbul, he seemed to be set for great things at Liverpool, including an assist in the first leg of the quarterfinals against the then world-class Juventus.

However, behind the scenes, his relationship with manager Rafa Benitez deteriorated. Before the start of the season, he asked for a loan transfer, which led to a decline in the Spanish coach’s hierarchy, and he was forced to repeatedly move to Liverpool on loan after that.

“For having asked Benítez to leave on loan [in July 2004], I was stupid and he was mad at me,”

“I came back from Saint-Étienne in January because there were injuries at Liverpool and, at the end of the season, Benítez said to me: ‘For me, you are crazy. You were one of the three attackers, now I put you in 8th place’.”

“I was young, but he didn’t want to know anything and loaned me every year. I blame him. My career could have been different, but that one thing was fatal for me.”

“In 2005, Benítez didn’t include me in the squad for the Champions League final. It made me cry,”

“Harry Kewell came back from injury but was injured again after 20 minutes. I was in the stands during the final, but I didn’t celebrate the title in Istanbul or take part in the parade through Liverpool. I stayed at home. I was too sad.”

L’Equipe

In 2008, he escaped rental hell and moved to Le Mans. Two years later, he joined Auxerre. He regained his career in his native France, but he never became as good a player as he was expected to be as a youngster, and retired in 2021.

If his relationship with Benitez had been good and he had continued to be used in the first team, there would have been another world line, but it is only a codswallop.

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