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Real Madrid bench role accelerated Liverpool exit - Gerrard

“This situation was a bit unique because it was Real Madrid and I wanted to play.”

Steven Gerrard did not make Liverpool's starting side to play Real Madrid.
Steven Gerrard did not make Liverpool's starting side to play Real Madrid.

FORMER LIVERPOOL CAPTAIN Steven Gerrard says he knew he had to leave the club when he was left on the bench for the club’s Champions League trip to Real Madrid in November.

Gerrard was named among the substitutes and only played the final 20 minutes as the Reds lost 1-0 in the Spanish capital in November.

Recalling the shock decision, Gerrard, who is preparing to link up with MLS side LA Galaxy, admits that it played a pivotal role in his decision to leave Anfield.

In an interview with Rio Ferdinand set to be aired on BT Sport 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 his infamous slip against Chelsea in 2013-14, which many have said cost Liverpool their first Premier League title in 24 years.

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With the Reds within touching distance of the Premier League title, Demba Ba capitalised on Gerrard’s mistake as Jose Mourinho’s side recorded a 2-0 victory that sparked a remarkable Liverpool collapse, with Manchester City going on to win the league.

“The slip happened at a bad time, it was cruel for me personally,” Gerrard added. “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 have, I don’t know.”

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