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Next

Marcotti: Platini's missed opportunity

FIFA 17 hours ago
Read
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 4, 2006

Benitez pleased with takeover news

Rafael Benitez spoke tonight of his anticipation of an exciting future for Liverpool on the day it was confirmed they in talks over a possible £450million takeover.

The Liverpool chief was talking ahead of tomorrow's Champions League clash with Galatasaray and his emotional return to the Ataturk Stadium, the scene of the Merseysiders' fifth European Cup triumph just 18 months ago.

And he tried to make the point that he hoped the host of youngsters he has brought to Turkey for what is in effect a dead rubber - the last group C match with nothing riding on the result - can be an inspiration for their own futures.

But it was impossible to avoid the potential Dubai International Capital investment, taken a step further now they have been awarded exclusivity and allowed to undergo a period of due diligence.

Benitez said: 'I have talked to the chairman (David Moores) and chief executive (Rick Parry) about this and I was pleased with what I heard.

'At the moment I only really want to concentrate on the match here, but of course it is always good for a club to have more money and more possibilities.'

And Benitez also believes that by exposing teenage prospects to football at this level as the likes of Lee Peltier, Danny Guthrie and Paul Anderson will be tomorrow against the Turkish champions - they will be hungry for similar success.

He said: 'I was delighted with the motivation of my team here 18 months ago, and I have always believed that we can go on and achieve more trophies together.

'We can do it, we can win more things together. We have the quality and the right mentality for it. The hunger is still there.

'For me the final was the best day of my football life, and I want the fact that the youngsters are playing here to be an inspiration. If they can just talk to the senior lads, see what they achieved, I believe that is an example that could see the beginning of something new from the young players who will follow.'

But for Benitez, there is the prospect of financial clout that he has been looking for ever since he arrived from Valencia, and he said: 'What could happen soon will be a very good opportunity for the club.

'But for now we are trying to be focused about the game, we will have plenty of time to talk about such things in the future.'

Benitez is without senior men Steven Gerrard, Sami Hyypia, Steve Finnan and Jose Reina for this final group match, with top spot and qualification for the next phase already assured.

But it could also be the final big match of Jerzy Dudek's Liverpool career. The star of the Istanbul final will be given the chance of what is virtually an emotional farewell to the club.

Dudek said: 'It has been difficult not to have played much since that final. But I understand.

'My contract runs out in the summer and I will be sitting down in the next couple of weeks to discuss my future with the manager.

'It will be very hard to find anything to compared to Liverpool and I have enjoyed my time here, the city and the fans.

'But I do not know how much longer I have to play at this level and at this stage of my career I do want to be playing every week. There is nothing better, but I want to be playing.

'This is something I will have to discuss with the manager. I do not need to show anything to anybody and maybe this match is the opportunity to show.'

Benitez is very unlikely to offer Dudek a new contract, and he said: 'For Jerzy, this match gives him the possibility to show people he is a very good goalkeeper.

'I have never had any problem with him, he is a fine professional, but maybe he needs to be playing regularly, he certainly wants to play every week.'