Steven Gerrard: Rafael Benitez was cold and controlling

Steven Gerrard shakes hands with Rafael Benitez
Steven Gerrard played under Rafael Benitez for six years of his Liverpool career between 2004 and 2010

Steven Gerrard says his relationship with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was "distant and emotionless".

The 35-year-old midfielder, who left Anfield in May after 17 years, revealed the details in his autobiography.external-link

"I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers, except for Rafa," said Gerrard.

"It's a shame because we shared the biggest night of our careers - the 2005 Champions League victory in Istanbul - yet there is no bond between us."

Former England captain Gerrard insists the "frostiness" made him a better player as he had "a hunger" to get a compliment from the Spaniard.

"On a basic human level I prefer a likeable manager, such as Gerard Houllier or Brendan Rodgers, but in terms of football I really don't mind working with a colder man," added Gerrard, who joined LA Galaxy this summer.

"An emotionless and distant relationship with the likes of Rafa Benitez and Fabio Capello can sometimes produce more success."

Facts, facts, facts

In January 2009, with Liverpool top of the Premier League, then-Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson commented that nerves might ruin the Reds' title bid.

Benitez, in a bizarre and passionate news conference, responded to this by pulling out a sheet of paper and reading out a list of accusations about Ferguson's conduct regarding referees, the FA's Respect campaign and fixture lists. Benitez backed up his points by saying "this is a fact".

But Gerrard, who played 710 times for Liverpool, was left cringing by the exchange.

"Rafa kept saying 'fact, fact, fact' and I could not believe what I was hearing," said Gerrard. "I was grabbing the couch, digging my fingers into the arms, feeling embarrassed for him.

"When I met up with England, all the Manchester United players told me Fergie was just laughing at Rafa, saying: 'I've got him, I've got him'."

Benitez left Liverpool in June 2010 and is now in charge at Real Madrid.