Rafa: I’ve never seen supporters like those

Rafa Benitez would like to stay as Liverpool’s manager until he’s 65.
The 45-year-old Spaniard has managed to get Liverpool into the final of
Champions League in his first season, smashing everyone’s expectations
in the process.

Rafa was linked with the Real Madrid job earlier this year but doesn’t
want to leave this country for a long time if he can help it. He told
the Liverpool Echo: "As a manager I’m young and if I’m at Liverpool for
another 20 years, I hope to reach many more finals and win many more

Tuesday night saw the passion and atmosphere at Anfield reach new
levels, certainly since the all-seater era started, and that has
confirmed to Rafa just why he took the Reds manager role on: "I don’t
know if I’ll be here that long, but I hope so. When you’re happy here,
you’re winning and you see the supporters, why wouldn’t you want to
stay for so long?"

It’s not the first time Benitez has been overawed by the fans: "I was
expecting the club to be like this when I joined, but only when I
experienced nights like the Arsenal and Olympiakos matches did I
realise how good it was."

Back in 1977 Liverpool had perhaps their most famous night in European
football, when they came back against all the odds to overcome St
Etienne in the European Cup quarter final. Liverpool went on to lift
the trophy for the first of four times that year. "On Tuesday people
spoke about the St Etienne match in 1977, but for us this is more
important because it’s about now and the future. I’ve never seen
supporters like those against Chelsea. It was fantastic."