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Steven Gerrard: 'I told Rafael Benitez not to replace Xabi Alonso with Gareth Barry'

Gerrard 'talked Benitez out of signing Barry'
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Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard admits that he talked former Reds boss Rafael Benitez out of signing Gareth Barry as a replacement for Xabi Alonso in 2009.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has revealed that he talked former Reds boss Rafael Benitez out of signing Gareth Barry in 2009.

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder will break Ryan Giggs's record of 632 Premier League appearances should he feature against Arsenal on Monday.

Barry has enjoyed a fruitful 19-year career in the English top flight, having also represented Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton, as well as winning 53 England caps.

However, the 36-year-old's career could have seen him represent the Toffees' great rivals, were it not for an intervention from Liverpool's then-captain relating to the role of Xabi Alonso.

Gerrard told BT Sport: "[Benitez] wanted to move Xabi on and bring in Gareth.

"Now, for me that wasn't the right move, although I'm a big fan of Gareth Barry. I'd rather have him in to play alongside Xabi because I think they could have worked together.

"I don't think it was the right move from a Liverpool point of view to replace Xabi with Gareth.

"The fans love Xabi, he's a world-class player, and for me, Rafa should have been doing everything to keep him and not have him move on."

Alonso ended up moving to Real Madrid, Barry joined Manchester City, and Liverpool brought in Alberto Aquilani, who only managed to make 18 top-flight appearances for the Reds.

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Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring his goal with Liverpool's English midfielder Steven Gerrard (L) during the English Premier League football match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool at Loftus Road in London on Oc
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JapanJapan114520
United StatesUnited States1010929
ChinaChina105823
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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