"He won the Champions League and he is a legend in Liverpool," Benitez told the Daily Mail. "I think he will say he made the right decision at the time."
But the Spaniard rejected the theory that Gerrard, 32, and Frank Lampard were unable to operate successfully in the same midfield unit.
"At the time, Chelsea had Claude Makelele, he would have freed them to go forward," said Benitez.
How will this go down with Blues fans? Or is Rafa simply right? Give us your shout below...