Rafa proud despite Reds’ exit

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that he needs to sign five new players this summer after watching Atletico Madrid beat his side in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

However, Benitez is aware that he is unlikely to be given the money to reinforce a squad that has struggled throughout the season.

After losing the first leg in Spain 1-0, the Reds appeared to be on course to meet Fulham in an all-English final next month when they scored their second goal in extra-time only for Diego Forlan to net and send Atletico through on the away goals rule.

Benitez said after the match:"I do not know whether I will have any funds. We will find out in the summer.

"Liverpool is a massive club but there has been a change in the last two or three years. We have had to balance the books and manage in this way.

"Someone said we needed four or five players. I would more or less agree with that. That is what we have to do.

"Everything seems to have been against us this season.

"It is clear that we had some problems. We had too many injuries and were lacking forward options. But the players worked so hard tonight and I am very proud of them."

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