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Carboni exclusive: Benitez unlucky at Inter Milan; he wanted Baraja, Albiol at Liverpool

Valencia and Roma legend Amedeo Carboni says Rafa Benitez was unfortunate during his stint with Inter Milan.

Benitez developed his reputation as one of the world's best managers while in charge of Valencia at the turn of the century.

Breaking the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Los Che won the 2001/02 and 2003/04 La Liga titles, as well as the 2004 UEFA Cup under Benitez's guidance.

The Spaniard would go on to manage Liverpool, where would he win the Champions League and FA Cup, for six years before arriving at Inter in 2010.

Replacing Jose Mourinho after he delivered the Champions League and Serie A titles was always going to difficult for Benitez.

And despite winning the Italian Super Cup and Club World Cup, he was fired in December 2010 with the club sitting well off the pace domestically, as well as falling out with the board over their transfer plans.

And Carboni, who played under Benitez at the Mestalla, believes his former manager was treated harshly by the Italian giants.

"Rafa Benitez is a great soccer coach, a teacher of perfection and a good strategist," the former Italy international told

"His career speaks for itself. Inter was not a good situation because he found a team that was already overwhelmed with titles & trophies, parties and, on top of that, that pre-season there had been his star players resting after the World Cup.

"I remember that he started the season with only 11 players and many youngsters. So, he didn't manage to communicate to the squad his ideas of football, which are totally different to Mourinho's tactics.

"But he managed to win 1 Italian Supercoppa and the Club World Cup; a title that had been missing from Inter Milan's trophy cabinet."

Carboni became sporting director of Valencia in 2007 after retiring from his playing career.

And the 55-year-old revealed Benitez, now in charge of Dalian Yifang, tried to poach players from his old club when he was in charge of Liverpool.

"I can say that when Rafa Benitez was at Liverpool he tried, quite a few times, to sign our players that he knew well; (Ruben) Baraja and (Raul) Albiol."

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Will McCarthy

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