If there’s one thing teams should have learned by now, it would be the simple fact that you don’t mess with Liverpool in the Champions League. Whatever you do, don’t give Rafa Benitez the ammo he needs to steamroll your football club on any given night.
Unlike Liverpool’s record in the league, their ability to rise to the occasion on the biggest football stage of all has been well documented. You’d think every player would have gotten that memo by now — but apparently there’s still one out there that’s been living under a rock.
…despite Liverpool’s strong track record in Europe, Rafael Van der Vaart believes Rafael Benitez side’s nerves will get the better of them next Wednesday.
“We’re Real Madrid, which is why I think Liverpool are frightened of us,” he said. “We have great players – it’s going to be a great tie. The team is working hard to be in perfect shape.
“We’re anxious to do well in Europe and if we end up as champions I will be capable of anything. I will do anything to win the Champions League.” (Daily Telegraph)
Nerves? Would these be the same nerves that saw them come back from three goals down against AC Milan, beat Barcelona away, and take out Inter Milan when nobody gave them a chance? Yep, nerves have really been a problem for Liverpool in the past.
In all honesty, Van der Vaart has only himself to blame for giving Rafa Benitez the bulletin board material he needs to fire his club up. It doesn’t take much, but then again, Van der Vaart didn’t know that. He was hiding under a rock this whole time; but you already knew that.