Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed that he offered Rafael Benitez the chance to take charge of the club in 2009, but the Spaniard turned them down to stay at Liverpool.
However, after guiding the Reds to second place in the Premier League in 2008-09, as well as beating Real 4-0 in the Champions League, he decided to stay at the English club.
Quoted in the Liverpool Echo, Perez said: "I thought of him in 2009 and offered him the job.
"The circumstances did not allow it because he had renewed with Liverpool and could not leave them."
Benitez was sacked as Liverpool boss a year after the offer after the club dropped to seventh place, but after spells with Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli, Perez is adamant that the former Real player is the right man for the job in Madrid this season.
"Rafa Benitez is the best for Madrid at this time," he added. "He is Spanish, a Madridista. He knows the culture, the values, and is from this house."
Real have taken four points from their opening two La Liga games under Benitez this season.