Fabio Cannavaro has started an intriguing war of words that is likely to continue until he comes up against a determined Liverpool side in the Champions League on Tuesday night. This clash, which sees Liverpool holding the advantage of a vital away goal, didn't really need any building up in order for football fans across the country to look forward to it with excitement, but the Real defender has decided to provide some controversy regardless of this fact.
Cannavaro has stated that Liverpool didn't try to "win the game" at the Bernabeu and, as if that little dig wasn't enough, the defender continued to slate the tactics employed by Benitez, who has been praised throughout his time at the club for masterminding successful European campaigns. The Real Madrid defender belittled Liverpool's long ball tactics and revealed his belief that "they will do the same at Anfield".
Interestingly, Cannavaro's words also revealed one of Real Madrid's downfalls, which could plague them on Tuesday night when the team is sure to face opposition from the passionate Liverpool fans urging their team towards victory. Cannavaro revealed that the team must not "rely on Arjen Robben or Marcelo or Wesley Sneijder". The simple truth remains that Real's defensive vulnerability has proved costly for years and, whilst they may put on a scintillating attacking show, mistakes at the back have proved decisive in far too many key matches.
Furthermore, despite Cannavaro's protestations, the team has been reliant upon individual talent this season. Arjen Robben has been in fantastic form for the club, showing an attacking prowess that has made Chelsea fans regret his untimely departure from the club. The fact is that Benitez will be aware of this and Cannavaro is right: Liverpool "are a very organised and solid team and they know exactly how to play".
Starting a war of words against a manager who has proved himself at European level is dangerous and questioning his tactics is downright foolish. Cannavaro and his Real teammates should be hoping that the defender's comments do not backfire and bring an end to the Spanish team's European dreams.