Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted he ‘resisted the temptation’ to join Real Madrid on a number of occasions, as the Reds prepare to take on the Spanish giants in the Champions League tonight.
Real have made numerous attempts to lure the Liverpool skipper over the years, and whilst Gerrard admits he may regret not joining once his career his finished, he insists the regret of leaving his boyhood club would have been too much.
“It is very flattering to be linked to a huge club like Madrid and I have had options through my career to go to Real Madrid but I resisted the temptation to stay with my home town club,” said Gerrard.
“I may regret at the end of my career not going to a different scenery but would have had bigger regret leaving Liverpool. Real Madrid are a special club but Liverpool is my No 1 club.”
Gerrard was instrumental the last time Liverpool faced Madrid, scoring twice at Anfield as the Reds ran out 4-0 winners in 2009.
He said: “Looking back at the game the reason we came out on top was we were aggressive with or without the ball, pressed from the front and had a world-class talent in Fernando Torres and we forced them into mistakes. I can’t give away tactics for tomorrow but with all due respect to the team in 2009 individually Real Madrid have improved so we have huge respect for the current Real Madrid team.
“It was a wonderful evening [in 2009] and a fabulous team performance and we are looking for a similar level. Nights like that live with you forever. When teams like that come to town and you get a result it is fantastic memories.
“We are new back to the Champions League so I’m not sure Madrid will have fear. There are not many opponents they will worry about facing. We are progressing and moving forward. This is like a bonus game and we need to enjoy but you only enjoy games likes this when you perform as a team so we’re looking to surprise and shock a few people tomorrow night.”