Having previously touted Andre Villas-Boas for the Anfield post, the former Reds midfielder is now supporting a return to Merseyside for the previous boss who left 18 months ago
The Spaniard won the Champions League in his first spell in charge at Liverpool in 2005, and has been out of work since the end of 2010 when he was sacked by inter after only six months.
And despite previously giving his support for Andre Villas-Boas to take over, Barnes believes the owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), should appoint a manager with experience of managing at the top and has backed 52-year-old Benitez to take charge for a second spell.
"I think it has to be someone with a proven track record," Barnes told the Daily Mail.
"You could have someone as inexperienced as [Roberto] Martinez, Brendan Rodgers or Andre Villa-Boas, or someone as experienced as Rafa [Benitez].
"Rafa knows the club so him coming back will be a good move and I support anyone coming into the club with a proven track record - he will improve the side."
Barnes urged FSG to look long-term and not make an appointment aimed at quick success; something the likes of Chelsea have been criticised for in recent years.
"They have to back the next man," he added. "Because otherwise they are just going to keep getting new managers wanting to spend more money and that's a feature of modern football.
"If you want examples of what can be achieved with support in a similar situation you just need to look at Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes.
"They are two of the longest serving managers and both have been under pressure for various reasons but you can see how well Everton and Manchester United have done.
"An example of what not to do is Chelsea, okay they may win the Champions League but by changing managers their league form has shown them to be inconsistent."