Real Madrid Manager Rafa Benitez has insisted that claims by former Liverpool captain Steven Gerard that he didn’t like him were a very good marketing strategy at best.

Steven Gerard opened the lid on some of the people he had worked with at Anfield and claimed there was “no bond” between him and Benitez.

Gerard also spoke about Mario Balotelli, claiming that the Italian has was it takes to be world class but would never get there because of his mentality.

The former Liverpool man said he was gutted to see Xabi Alonso leave and he thought Benitez was stupid to have sanctioned the move to Real Madrid.

Benitez’s decision to use nicknames for other players but refer to the England international simply as “Gerard” also riled the LA Galaxy midfielder, but the Real coach has now hit back, claiming simply that the 35-year-old is “wrong”.

“Out of the respect that I have for Stevie and for the value and appreciation I have for him, and for Liverpool and the supporters, I think it’s best to just let it pass,” he said on Spanish television.

“He has brought out a book and now I’m the Real Madrid manager, that sells.”

Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, with Gerard playing a key role in the penalty shootout victory over AC Milan, while he also lifted the FA Cup in the following season.

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