Benitez offers to take former star Gerrard under wing at Newcastle

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez said he will gladly welcome Steven Gerrard to the club, adding that the Liverpool great would inspire the squad.

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Gerrard announced his retirement on Thursday after departing MLS franchise LA Galaxy, ending a successful 18-year playing career.

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The 36-year-old has indicated his willingness to take up coaching, and current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has opened the door to his potential return in some capacity.

However, ex-Reds boss Benitez has also indicated his readiness to mentor the Englishman, who lifted the Champions League under the current Newcastle trainer in 2005.

"If he wants to come and then talk the experience that will be or how to approach things, I can give my ideas," Benitez told reporters. 

"Obviously he has a lot of people around him who can give him some advice, but at least we can chat and talk about that, no problem.

"He was coming from the academy of Liverpool and he was the captain, but he was a leader on the pitch. Every time he could talk about the team it was very positive.

"He's not selfish, he was someone who was thinking about the team and not himself.

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"You could see every training session, the way that he was training and the way he was doing things, I think he was someone he was someone who had to make a difference in the games.

"I think he has the knowledge and the experience, and also he has been away to another country which I think is important because he has still has ambition. I think he is also lucky because he's had English coaches, French coaches, Spanish coaches and German coaches.

"He has had coaches from different countries and approaches to the game, and that is always a real positive for any player."

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Benitez was in charge of arguably Gerrard's most memorable match for the Merseyside club, Liverpool coming from 3-0 down to win the 2004-05 Champions League final on penalties against AC Milan.

And the Spaniard believes the character Gerrard displayed on that night in Istanbul and throughout his career exemplifies his leadership credentials - something which he believes will be easily transferrable into coaching.

"Outside of the pitch he was working so hard for the team that he was an example for everyone," Benitez added. 

"After he played with me, he was playing in different positions with different managers and that means that he was learning the understanding of the game.

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"Maybe he can be a good coach in the future. If he wants to talk to me about that, we can be in contact and then I can give him some good ideas, and I'm sure the club will give him some ideas.

"We are talking about one of the big names in football and one of the best players that I have ever had; because he was a player that could play in different positions, he could score goals, he could pass, he could tackle.

"He could be an inspiration to the rest of the team like in Istanbul. Thanks to him, we won the Champions League in Istanbul."

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