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Lucas Leiva says that Rafa Benitez will always remain as a special manager

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says that Rafa Benitez will always remain as a special manager to him and he will remain grateful to the Spaniard.

Lucas was signed by Benitez when he was just 20 and still playing in the Brazilian league. After arriving at Liverpool – a club that had just won its fifth European cup – was a huge step up from his days in the Brazilian league. Lucas was initially criticised for not being a quality player, but he has become a fan favourite over the years. Benitez will be making yet another return to Anfield but this time with Newcastle United.

After having been in charge of clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid since his departure from Liverpool, Benitez is involved in a relegation battle with Newcastle. He was appointed as a shot at avoiding relegation at a time when the club was destined for the drop. Even though results did not immediately improve, Benitez has overseen victories over the likes of Swansea and draws with Manchester City. There is a feeling that he could take advantage of Liverpool’s involvement in the Europa league, which could act as a distraction, to get a result at Anfield this weekend.

Lucas says that despite his relationship with Benitez, three points is the priority for Liverpool.“I will always be grateful because I think if it was another manager or a manager that was not so patient I probably wouldn't be here now. Rafa always supported me and was very important for me in the time he was here.I will always be grateful for what he has done for me, but when the game starts we have to play for our shirt, our fans and our club.After the game finishes, for sure we will be able to talk and share good moments again,” said Lucas.