Real Madrid did everything they could to sign Steven Gerrard during our legendary former skipper’s peak – including asking him to start a war with us, he’s claimed in his autobiography, reported in the Echo.
During the noughties, every giant club in Europe made a proper approach for Gerrard – who was consistently regarded as one of the world’s best central midfielders.
He of course turned them all down, and only left Liverpool this summer to join MLS franchise LA Galaxy.
“They wanted me to kick up a war to get out of Liverpool for a certain amount of money, which I wasn’t prepared to do,” he said.
“I think Real Madrid, when they’re after a player they have the attitude of ‘we’re Real Madrid, you should fight to come to us.’
“But my love for Liverpool, I’m not prepared to go to war and plus I was very happy and stable at the time.”
Real Madrid’s shadiness in the transfer market is known all too well by English clubs.
Tottenham had Luka Modric and then Gareth Bale unsettled by the Spaniards in consecutive summers, while Manchester United were effectively forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo – who had his head turned.
‘Tapping us’ is technically illegal, but essentially impossible to stop. Anyone can pick up a phone to anyone in the footballing world, and Gerrard was often on the receiving end of tempting, financially unbelievable offers.
But he stayed, and will go down as our greatest ever midfielder as a result.