Benitez family mourn loss of Francisco, Rafael’s father

Liverpool’s success in Japan on Thursday and their recent run of excellent form in the league and in Europe has been acheived with manager Rafael Benitez facing difficulties of a different kind. It was revealed today that the Liverpool manager lost his father after illness. The news was broken to Benitez during the build-up to the game on Thursday.

Benitez says that although he had seen his father, Francisco, a number of times over the recent months of his illness, he wouldn’t be able to get home for the funeral. He intends to see his mother, along with the rest of his family, once Liverpool are back in Europe after the final on Sunday.

The news was broken by Liverpool’s official website. Benitez explained to them how his work with Liverpool has been helping him to come to terms with the loss: "I was in Madrid a couple of times because my father has been ill for the last few months. I was talking to my mother, sister and brother when my father died. We tried to go there but in Spain you do not have the time. They couldn’t delay the funeral. I couldn’t go so I decided to stay here."

Benitez says that he’ll be travelling to Spain next week: "I will go and see my mother next week so for me it is perhaps better to concentrate on working. You can be very upset but if you are working sometimes you can just think about your work. My mother is there though and I will try to be with her as soon as possible. The only thing I can do now is try to do my best for my team and think about my father."

Liverpool’s official site also says that there may be a minute’s silence held before Sunday’s final as a mark of respect to the passing of Rafael’s father. An announcement by FIFA is expected. would like to join with all other Liverpool fans in expressing our sincere condolences to the Benitez family at this difficult time.