Rafael Benitez admits it is his dream to one-day coach the Spanish national team but has reiterated his immediate future lies at Liverpool.
Benitez has been linked with a move away from Anfield this summer, with Inter Milan the latest club to be linked to the 50-year-old, although that rumour was dismissed by the Serie A champions this morning.
Juventus were also believed to be courting Benitez but the Turin giants are set to unveil Luigi Del Neri as their new coach this week, and the Spaniard insists he is some years away from leaving Merseyside.
‘Right now I have four years left in my contract with Liverpool and I am very happy there,’ Benitez said.
‘But, of course, in a few years, once [Spain coach Vicente] Del Bosque ends his work, I would like to be Spain coach. ‘All of the Spanish coaches would like in the future to become national team manager.’
Benitez believes Spain striker Fernando Torres, who is currently in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup after a knee operation, has no intention of leaving Liverpool amid rumours of interest from Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea.
‘I am not aware that Torres wants to leave,’ said Benitez. ‘Now he is only focusing on recovering and going to the World Cup, only then will he think about his future.’
Benitez added that Torres’ importance to Liverpool goes far beyond his actions on the pitch, saying: ‘Torres has multiplied the Liverpool image in Asia because all the women there are crazy about him.’
The Liverpool boss also hit back at his critics following the Reds’ disappointing seventh-placed league finish and early exit from the Champions League last season.
Benitez claims he is a victim of his own success after guiding the club to glory in the Champions League, FA Cup, European Super Cup and Community Shield in his first two years in the role.
‘My critics in London say that I am not a good manager but they forget many details,’ he said. ‘Liverpool has averaged 69 points in the last 12 seasons.
We made a huge mistake, as we won four titles at the start. Then people ask you for more, when in reality in the Premier League it’s assumed that at the start a coach needs time to adapt.
‘(Manchester United manager Alex) Ferguson took seven years to win the Premier League.’