Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has spoken of his special "bond" with manager Rafa Benitez.

"Rafa is obsessed with football 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Gerrard told liverpoolfc.tv. "You have to take your hat off to him. He's one of the best managers there is.

"Rafa is the type that when you finish a game as man of the match having scored three goals, he won't even mention it. Instead, he'll mention that you never used your left foot at a certain point!

"But Rafa does it right. When I need a pat on the back I get it.

"I have had lots of 'well dones' from him, but when I need a kick up the backside I get it too.

"He can also make me laugh, but you don't see that side of him - or me - from the outside.

"We spend a lot of time together on the training ground, travelling to matches and he joins in. We've got a great team spirit here and my relationship with him is perfect."