Dietmar Hamann

Dietmar Hamann.

Liverpool FC. Seasons 2004-2006.

In this exclusive extract, the former Reds midfielder talks about his relationship with former Kop bosses Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier.

Rafael Benitez isn’t big on relationships, but in my mind he is pure managerial genius.

Even if Rafa had forcibly removed me from Anfield, he’d still be near the top of my managerial list. Sometimes, talking to Rafa was like when your car windscreen’s iced up on a winter’s morning. You can’t see anything, but when you switch on the de-icer gradually you start to see through the impenetrable barrier of ice, a hazy picture emerges and within two minutes you have a full Technicolor image.

Rafa had the ability to achieve this rapid transformation from total blankness to incredible insight in just two minutes. He was incisive. He had the mind of a prosecution barrister and the words of a Spanish troubadour.