Peter Crouch admits to being “bitter and upset” over Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez’s significant decision.

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Peter Crouch admits to being “bitter and upset” over Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez’s significant decision.

Liverpool met AC Milan again in the Champions League final two years after their historic Champions League final victory against the Italian giants in 2005.

The Rossoneri had Liverpool’s number this time, there was no extra time or penalties, and they avenged themselves with a 2-1 win.

Striker Peter Crouch was a notable absentee from the starting lineup in Athens that night.

Rafa Benitez left the former Liverpool forward out and finally brought him on as a 78th-minute substitute.

Crouch had scored seven goals in Liverpool’s run to the final, as well as nine goals in the Premier League.

It’s the ‘one regret’ of the 40-year-Liverpool old’s career, he revealed.

Prior to the Reds’ group stage match against AC Milan on Wednesday night, he told BT Sport: “To be honest, I’m bitter [on final memories], how many times do you play in a Champions League final?

“I scored seven goals in the run-up to the final, so I got to play in most of the games, only to be told an hour and a half before kick-off that I wasn’t starting.

“I wasn’t interested in sampling the atmosphere; I was simply furious and disappointed that I hadn’t been able to start. I was enraged, to say the least. One of the most crucial games of everyone’s lives begins an hour and a half before kickoff.

“Rafa never worried about how you felt since he held his cards close to his chest. It was quite disappointing because I had participated in the majority of the games and had scored numerous goals.

“However, he kept his cards close to his chest and never indicated that I wasn’t going to start.

“It may appear that I am resentful about it, and he was certainly giving his best for the squad, but that is my one regret.” Even if he didn’t start me and instead began Bellamy and went a little more offensive in Athens 2007, they were there for the taking.”

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