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Maxi Rodriguez reveals he lied to Rafael Benitez to secure Liverpool move

Maxi Rodriguez reveals he lied to secure Liverpool move
© Reuters
Former Liverpool winger Maxi Rodriguez reveals that he lied to Rafael Benitez about his language skills in order to secure his 2010 move to Anfield.

Former Liverpool winger Maxi Rodriguez has admitted that he lied to Rafael Benitez in order to secure his 2010 move to Anfield.

Rodriguez joined the Reds on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid 10 years ago, going on to score 17 goals in 73 appearances during a two-and-a-half-year stay on Merseyside.

However, the Argentine has now revealed that he "told a little lie" about his language skills in order to seal the deal, with Benitez keen to bring English-speaking players to the club.

"Rafa told me that it was very important for everyone to speak English in the dressing room. He asked me if I knew how to speak the language and I said 'yes, of course, stay calm'," Rodriguez is quoted as saying by The Mirror.

"Of course, I didn't want the negotiations to fail so I told a little lie. When I arrived in England, there was a press conference and Rafa told me he would speak first and then I would continue.

"That was when I grabbed him and said 'look Rafa, I need to confess something to you. I don't know English. The only thing I know is how to say hello'. Rafa said 'you're a son of a b****.' But we were both laughing and afterwards I learned how to speak English.

"I was very good at Atletico. I was the captain and I knew the city very well. But English football drove me crazy and I wanted to play there."

Rodriguez, who celebrated his 39th birthday in January, is currently still playing in his native Argentina for Newell's Old Boys.

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Wednesday's key events

· 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)

· 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)

· 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)

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

· 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)

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

· 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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