Peter Crouch has revealed he once bought former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez a Jose Mourinho book for Christmas.
The Stoke City striker played for the Reds between 2005 – 2008 and made 135 appearances for the Merseyside club, scoring 42 goals in all competitions.
While under contract with Liverpool, Crouch was involved with a ‘Secret Santa’ draw in which he pulled out Benitez’s name.
Influenced by the Spaniard’s fresh new look at the time, Crouch decided to give him a present that included another one-time style icon of football: one of Benitez’s main rivals, Jose Mourinho.
Speaking on the Peter Crouch podcast, Crouch revealed: “Funnily enough, I drew my boss once, in Secret Santa. It was Rafa Benitez. I drew Benitez.
“It was no limit so we went all in. What I got for Rafa, he started changing his image a little bit, he started wearing a leather jacket. It was the goatee era. So I got him a new leather and I also got him Jose Mourinho’s book!”
Mourinho and Benitez do not have a great relationship. In 2015, the current Manchester United boss insulted Benitez over his weight.
Bought with the intention of making Benitez and the Liverpool squad laugh, or even find humour in the manager’s angry reaction, the man in the hotseat at Newcastle right now actually thought the Mourinho book was a genuinely nice present and insisted he was going to give it a read.
“It was ‘Jose Mourinho: How to Win The League’,” joked Crouch.
“And I thought, ‘This is not going to go down well, this’, and he had a look at it, he opened it up and he was actually genuinely interested. He was like, ‘I’ll read that, yeah’, he didn’t really get the joke.”
“It was anonymous, he didn’t know, I said ‘I’ve got this one’ to all the lads.”