Rafa Benitez: Champions League road to Madrid starts here - Liverpool FC latest
16 September 2009 07:00
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RAFA BENITEZ has challenged his players to take Liverpool all the way to Madrid – but his first priority is ensuring a flying start to their Champions League campaign against Debrecen at Anfield tonight.
Having seen the Reds’ hopes dashed in the quarter-finals last season and in the semi-finals the year before, the manager is desperate to go further and lead the club to his third European Cup final.
The fact that this season’s showpiece is in his home city at the Bernabeu would make that extra special.
“This is a massive competition for us and the players are really excited about the start of it,” Benitez said.
“The group stage will be tough and we must try to get all the points we need early so then we can manage things in a different way.
“We were very close in the last few years and we all want to go to the final again this season.
“We must approach every competition to win it - that has to be the way at a top side like Liverpool.
“The order of priorities for most fans is probably the Premier League then the Champions League.
“Me? I would like to win both. But for now we must just focus on winning some games in our group.
“It’s really important to start well in this competition, especially at home.”