Tottenham chief Jose Mourinho was considered for Liverpool job in 2004 – but Reds preferred Rafa Benitez – The Sun

JAMIE CARRAGHER revealed how Liverpool considered appointing Jose Mourinho in 2004 but instead opted for Rafa Benitez.

The Reds were in the market for a new manager after former boss Gerard Houllier left by mutual consent.

Mourinho had just stunned the football world by winning his first Champions League title with Porto.

He had also guided the Portuguese side to the league title as his stock in world management rose rapidly.

Benitez, on the other hand, had also exceeded expectations by guiding Valencia to a historic double with the league and Uefa Cup titles.

Carragher, a senior squad member at the Reds in that time, revealed how a select few players were being kept up to date in the managerial search.

And he claimed how the club opted against the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss because of his erratic behaviour in the dugout.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the 42-year-old said: "Gerard Houllier had lost his job, and (chief executive) Rick Parry had interviewed Rafa Benitez at some stage.

"He was just keeping the senior players informed about where they were up to, and he did mention Jose Mourinho.

"I knew much more about Rafa Benitez because of the Spanish football and what he'd done, and it looked that (appointing him) was quite far down the road anyway.

"But I think the feeling was that Jose Mourinho couldn't be a Liverpool manager.

"Possibly because of the way he conducted himself at times.

"I think even that run down the line, even though it was great, at Old Trafford, the feeling was at the club and maybe from certain players that it wasn't really the Liverpool way of doing things.

"So I always thought we'd go for Rafa with him being a little bit more standoffish."


Benitez instantly achieved success at the Reds by lifting the Champions League in his first season in charge.

He also won the FA Cup a year later before eventually for Inter Milan in 2010.

Spurs boss Mourinho instead went to Chelsea which gave birth to the 'Special One' tag before winning back-to-back league titles.

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