Gerrard: Real Madrid snub accelerated my Anfield exit
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard knew he had to leave Anfield when he was left on the bench for the club’s UEFA Champions League trip to Real Madrid.
Gerrard was named among the substitutes and only played the final 20 minutes as Liverpool lost 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in November.
Recalling the shock decision, Gerrard — who is preparing to link up with the reigning MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy — said it ultimately signalled the end of his long-standing association with his boyhood club.
In an interview with Rio Ferdinand set to be aired on BT Sport 1 on Wednesday, the 35-year-old said: "This was round about the time when I was doing a lot of thinking about what’s next for me because I’d had a couple of initial chats with Brendan saying to me, ‘I’m going to start managing your games and I have to look after you and I want you to be fresh and I don’t want you to be playing three games in a week because you may be tired’ and stuff like that.
"But this situation was a bit unique because it was Real Madrid and I wanted to play. I sat on that bench devastated because I wanted to play, so it is one of those situations. It sort of pushed me into making a decision to move on and try something different."
Gerrard also opened up about the infamous slip against Chelsea in 2013-14, which may have cost Liverpool its first league crown in 24 years.
With Liverpool within touching distance of the Premier League title — five points clear of Chelsea prior to the Blues’ arrival at Anfield in April — Demba Ba capitalized on Gerrard’s slip as Jose Mourinho’s recorded a 2-0 victory.
That defeat sparked a heartbreaking collapse as Manchester City went on to win the league, and Gerrard said the unfortunate moment will haunt him for the rest of his life.
"The slip happened at a bad time, it was cruel for me personally," Gerrard said. "There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about what if that didn’t happen. Would things have been different? Would it have turned out different? Maybe it might of, I don’t know."
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