Babel reveals Benitez gripe

Ajax ace Ryan Babel has revealed he was let down by former

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez – and claims the Anfield fans never saw

the best of him.

The former Liverpool player arrived on Merseyside for around

?11.5million in July 2007 from Ajax, but was sold for around

?8million to Hoffenheim in January 2011 after failing to fulfill

his potential.

He made 146 appearances, scoring 22 goals in his four seasons at

Anfield, and is adamant he could have made a bigger impact in a

league he regards to be the best in the world.

Babel, 25, told The Mirror: “I don’t think people in England

ever saw the best of me. For a player to really be at his best you

have to give him a certain confidence, but I did not feel

appreciated by some people at Liverpool.

“Ajax have given me a chance again to prove myself and I’m happy

for that.

“The City game is a good platform for me to show the people who

doubt Ryan Babel what I can do.”

Babel, who will line-up against Manchester City in the Champions

League on Wednesday also revealed his disappointment with Benitez

for failing to help him develop.

“Rafa Benitez promised me a certain development, but very

quickly he took away that promise and it was a totally different

situation. I don’t think I ever really played more than three games

in a row.

“But I love Liverpool, I still have a house there. I love the

fans and I have great memories of my time at the club. It was a

very good learning process for me. Now, I am mentally stronger and

I know how to deal with certain situations and different people.

The people at Ajax see that.

“I have made mistakes. But, at 25, it’s not too late to give my

career a good twist. I still think I can fulfil my potential and

live up to what people thought I would become. I still have that

belief.

“Moving to Liverpool was a new world for me. I had been living

with my parents in Holland and all of a sudden I was living in a

foreign country on my own.

“Football players have to grow up very fast. It’s a tough life

sometimes. It depends on the individual, how strong they are and

how they deal with certain situations.

“England is the biggest league in the world. Of course, you have

Barcelona and Real Madrid but, as a league, England is in my

opinion the best in the world.

“You never know what your route is going to be. I am happy at

Ajax, but if you have some fantasy and imagination you like to

dream of things and Liverpool still has a special place in my

heart.”