Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard in his autobiography, My Story, has labelled Xabi Alonso as the best central midfielder he has ever played alongside and branded Rafa Benitez’ decision to sell Alonso as ‘stupid’.

Alonso was signed by Benitez in 2004 from Real Sociedad and Gerrard reveals that in his first training session with the club, the Spaniard stood out.

Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso starred in Liverpool FC’s Champions League triumph in Istanbul in 2005, with the duo having lead the Reds’ remarkable comeback. Gerrard and Alonso both found the back of the net in regulation time to help bring the scores level, and the Anfield club subsequently went on to win the final on penalties.

The 35-year-old midfielder labelled Rafa Benitez’ decision to let go of Alono in the summer of 2009 as ‘stupid’, when Real Madrid came knocking for the midfielder’s services and paid A?30 million.

Gerrard explained that Alonso could have been instrumental for the club as was seen with his exploits for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at club level and naturally, with the astounding success of Spain at the international stage. The English midfielder felt Alonso could have gone on to play a further six or seven years alongside him at Anfield, had Benitez not sold the Spaniard.

. It was a disastrous decision to sell Alonso – Gerrard

Gerrard’s autobiography, My Story, is being serialized by The Daily Mail and here are some excerpts from it:

It was clear Alonso was royalty after our first training session together in August 2004, and Rafa Benitez, who had been so clever to buy him in the first place, was equally stupid to sell him to Real Madrid five years later. He was, by some distance, the best central midfielder I ever played alongside.

It was a disastrous decision to sell Alonso, and especially for just A?30million a which looks a snip now when you reflect on all he has achieved subsequently, both at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and with Spain, winning the Euros and the World Cup. I blame Rafa entirely for the loss of Alonso. He could still have been playing for Liverpool six or seven years after he left in 2009.