The winger, signed from Roma last year, has scored 23 Premier League goals for Jurgen Klopp's side so far this season.
Benitez has followed Salah for a number of years, but he wasn't able to afford him at his previous clubs.
Newcastle United's manager has spoken about the 25-year-old ahead of tomorrow evening's televised Premier League game against Liverpool, his former club, at Anfield.
Asked about Salah, Benitez said: "We were following him years ago – I have a friend in Egypt – but the money was big.
“He has improved a lot. Klopp is doing a good job. He scores goals. We wanted him in Italy and also England and Napoli."
Asked how Salah is able to score so many goals from wide areas, Benitez added: "His pace and ability.
"In Italy, he was a key player for Roma. If you have pace and chances, you will score goals."
Benitez guided Liverpool to the Champions League trophy in 2005.
"It's a special place," said Benitez. "We won so many things there and enjoyed every minute. Compare our fans and their fans, so similar.
"My family's still there. The connection's there. I was six years there, four trophies, finals. I hope to do the same here, then the connection will be the same."