Oct 15, 2017 at 4pm UK at ​St Mary's Stadium
Attendance: 31,437
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Mauricio Pellegrino: 'I will always be grateful to Rafael Benitez'

Pellegrino: 'I am grateful to Benitez'
© SilverHub
Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino says that he will "always be grateful" to Newcastle United counterpart Rafael Benitez for showing faith in him earlier in his career.

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has said that Rafael Benitez was able to set "a good example" to him during his playing career and his early stages of his time in the dugout.

Pellegrino worked with Benitez when he was a defender at Valencia and Liverpool, while the Argentine was also given the opportunity to work alongside the Newcastle United boss during his time at Napoli.

The pair will lock horns when the Saints host the Magpies at St Mary's on Sunday afternoon, but Pellegrino has acknowledged his respect for his opposite number.

The 46-year-old told reporters: "I will always be grateful to Rafa because he's a good example for me both personally and professionally.

"First of all he was a really important team-mate because we were working together in Valencia as a player and after in Liverpool. He gave me the opportunity to work in professional football as an assistant (manager)."

Benitez has also spoken fondly of Pellegrino, although the Spaniard has admitted that Pellegrino may know 'everything about him' ahead of this weekend's game.

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez reacts during his side's Premier League clash with Liverpool at St James' Park on October 1, 2017
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