“History could have been very different.”
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has opened up on what convinced former Reds midfielder Steven Gerrard to reject a move to Chelsea in 2005.
Carragher admitted that Liverpool’s famous 2005 Champions League victory in Istanbul was instrumental in keeping Gerrard at Merseyside.
The Sky Sports pundit added that the aforementioned win showed Gerrard that the team “could compete at the highest level”.
Gerrard is widely regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation.
The Englishman joined Liverpool’s youth academy aged nine and after progressing through the ranks, he was handed his senior debut for the Reds against Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League in 1998.
The midfielder would feature in over 700 games for the six-time European Cup winners and manage 186 goals and 143 assists along the way.
He also managed to win 11 trophies during his time at Anfield including the famous 2005 Champions League title against AC Milan.
Gerrard would eventually leave the club in 2015 before retiring from the sport in 2017 after a brief spell with MLS side LA Galaxy.
Carragher on Gerrard.
Carragher spoke with FourFourTwo and he revealed that Liverpool’s famous European win in Istanbul prevented Gerrard from moving to Chelsea.
“Winning the Champions League in 2005 kept him (Gerrard) at the club because it showed we could compete at the highest level,” Carragher said.
“It also meant that we qualified for the Champions League the next season, as we’d come fifth in the league. It’s hard to believe, but without his goal, history could have been very different.
“Stevie was 24 and belonged in the Champions League – he was the best-attacking midfielder in the world. Chelsea were desperate for him, but that goal changed everything.”