Rafael Benitez is among the former teammates and managers who have responded to controversial comments made by Steven Gerrard in his autobiography.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool hero reflects on his career in his explosive new book, 'My Story', which is being serialised in Sportsmail.

"I don't think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person. I'm not sure why, but that's the feeling I got from him," Gerrard wrote.

Although he calls Benitez the "best tactical coach" he worked with at Liverpool, the midfielder recalls that their relationship was "ultra-professional", and the manager would never refer to him by first name, as he did with other players.

"I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers. Apart from one of them. Rafa is the exception," wrote the former captain.

Benitez, now manager of Real Madrid, denies Gerrard's claim that the two had "no bond" between them, and implies that Gerrard included these remarks in his book because "that sells".

"I have read the quotes and I believe he is wrong," Benitez told Spanish television.

"Out of the respect that I have for Stevie and for the value and appreciation I have for him, and for Liverpool and the supporters, I think it's best to just let it pass."

In his book, the midfielder also criticises former teammates Mario Balotelli, who Gerrard claims doesn't work hard enough, and the Senegalese player El Hadji Diouf. He wrote that Diouf was the signing he "liked least" during his 17 years with Liverpool, and that he had "no real interest in football".

Diouf has reportedly responded by accusing Gerrard of racism, an accusation which Gerrard's lawyers flatly deny. Another black ex-Liverpool player, Ryan Babel, defended Gerrard on Twitter saying: "I did not get that feeling from Steve G so I think he got it wrong."