BT Sport will air a lengthy interview with former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard this evening.
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The programme, which is entitled ‘Rio Meets Steven Gerrard’, will see our outgoing midfielder quizzed by former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. It airs for the first time at 10pm.
In the build-up to this, the Daily Mirror have released a series of the most interesting quotes to promote the programme – this includes discussion from Gerrard about why he chose to leave this summer, how he continues to be haunted by his title slip, what the loss of Luis Suarez meant to him, England’s chances of success and more.
The 35-year-old, who joins LA Galaxy next month following the expiration of his contract, pinpointed the game at Real Madrid in the Champions League as the night he decided it was time to go.
Gerrard was one of a number of first-team players left out of the game at the Bernabeu, which ended in a 1-0 defeat – something which didn’t go down well at all with the skipper.
“When I was told I wasn’t playing, for the sake of the team and the squad and my relationship with Brendan, I took it and I accepted it,” he admitted. “But I sat on that bench devastated because I wanted to play so, it is one of those situations. It sort of pushed me, making a decision to move on and try something different.”
Rodgers had already informed Gerrard that his time on the pitch was going to start being ‘managed’, and while the player understood that decision, he seemingly – and understandably – took exception to being left out of such a big game, in which he only played the final 20 minutes.
The media furore surrounding his subsequent exit from the club completed a difficult twelve months for Gerrard, which also saw us narrowly miss out on a maiden Premier League title and England humiliatingly put out of the World Cup at the group stage.
Speaking about the infamous slip in the game against Chelsea last year, Gerrard said: “The slip happened at a bad time, it was cruel for me personally. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think about.
“I’m not scared of any criticism or any cruelty. I understand the moment and impact it had. It kills me, don’t get me wrong. Inside it kills me and it will do for a long time.”
This season, Gerrard always knew it was going to be difficult to replace the departing Luis Suarez and manage without him. It was, as he described it, ‘mission impossible’. Ultimately, it was a campaign that ended in disappointment and is one that is unlikely to live long in the memory of such a legendary figure.
As for England, Gerrard thinks it’s our shyness that is letting us down. He explained: “I feel like when you get to England you want to have your lunch and go to bed and keep away from everyone, because there’s a shyness.
“I look at foreign players in the Liverpool squad now and they pack their bags a week before and can’t wait to get to their national team squads. In England now it’s like, ‘Oh, we’re away for eight days’ or, ‘I don’t really know him’ or ‘I’m a bit shy and a bit quiet.'”
Remember you can watch the full interview tonight on BT Sport at 10pm.