Arsenal keeper Almunia: I've played for Benitez

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has revealed the history he has with Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.

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"I was in the 'B' team at Osasuna when Benitez managed the first team, who were in the second division," the Arsenal keeper recalled.

"But he did not have a good time in Pamplona - the team was almost relegated and people in the city were not happy.

"He was sacked with five games of the season left. We had to win all of those games to stay up, they put one of the coaches from inside the club in charge and we won them all. It was a miracle.

"So Benitez didn't have success at Osasuna but has gone on to do very well and has proved to be a very good manager."

Almunia added: "It shows that football is not a mathematical thing. You can have one fantastic year and then the next year does not go so well, or the other way round.

"It depends on many circumstances, and that's why in football you just have to keep going, doing your best and fighting for your dreams - then they will come true."

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