The Spaniard guided Liverpool to success in the Champions League during his time in charge, and thinks that the supporters on Merseyside were open to his return after Kenny Dalglish was sacked at the end of last season.
He told the Irish Independant: "It was strange not to be approached.
"We know the club, the players, the Academy and we have even more experience now, the fans were positive about the idea.
"We used to play so many important games that it seemed it was normal and it wasn't.
"People were talking about 'the past', but just a few years ago Liverpool was number one in Europe."
Benitez is due to release a book next week entitled Champions League Dreams, which provides his account of Liverpool's European campaigns during his time as Reds boss.