You can all but put to bed the thought of Ryan Babel and Javier Mascherano returning to Liverpool for the start of the season. After receiving a ray of hope with the ruling the ruling in favor of Barcelona, Schalke and Werder Bremen, Rafa Benitez has made it clear that while he could pursue brining his players back from the Olympics, he’s going to let them stay and play for their country instead.
Liverpool have made it clear they have no intention of forcing their players to return from the Beijing Olympics.
Suggestions Javier Mascherano, Ryan Babel and Lucas Leiva would be told to return to England have been discounted by club sources.
The argument has centred around the fact the Olympics do not figure in the FIFA schedule.
But Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has taken the view that although he would ideally like to have all his players available for next week’s Champions League qualifier and the first day of the Premier League season, he has no intention of denying his young stars the chance of a lifetime to win an Olympic medal. (Daily Mail)
After listening to Benitez complain for weeks about the Olympic rules, the goateed-one surely has Liverpool supporters scratching their heads. Sure, playing for your country is the highest honour you can have. But given the fact that three teams have already taken advantage of the ruling, you’d think Benitez would have been next in line to make the most of this rare opportunity. Instead, he’ll be starting the season without two players from his starting XI. If Gerrard doesn’t mend quickly, and the Barry deal isn’t sealed before the start of the season, could Liverpool supporters look back on Rafa’s decision as the reason they didn’t get off to a fantastic start?