Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has declined the opportunity to end his on-going feud with rival Sir Alex Ferguson by refusing to congratulate the Manchester United manager on his side’s title success.
The Red Devils secured their third successive championship on Saturday to move level with Liverpool’s all-time English record of 18 titles and, although Benitez offered reluctant congratulations to the team as a whole, he pointedly refused to Ferguson.
Benitez said: “I will say congratulations to Manchester United. They have done well, but I do not want to say too much. I prefer just to say well done to the club, a big club, a good club.”
Benitez and Ferguson have rarely seen eye-to-eye this season, with the Liverpool boss launching a pre-meditated attack earlier in the season when he presented a list of “facts” criticising United and their manager.
Ferguson responded by accusing Benitez of “arrogance” and “contempt” in his dealings with fellow managers and the duo have continued to bicker ever since.
Benitez added: “Normally you have to be polite and respect the other manager. During the season we have seen a lot of things that I didn’t like, so that’s it.
“I say congratulations to United because they have won. And that’s it.”
Liverpool assured themselves of second place with a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Sunday and Benitez could not resist a further dig at Ferguson when asked to define what have been the deciding factors in the title race.
“They have had better quality on the bench. When they played us they had [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs and [Dimitar] Berbatov on the bench. I am really pleased that we have got 83 points with the squad we have.
“When you are prepared to pay £20m or £30m for players it is easier to win the title,” he added.