Close sidebar

Steve McManaman on how Liverpool’s failure to appreciate his value led to exit

Steve McManaman

“I was possibly the worst-paid in the team.”

Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman has opened up on the events that led to his controversial free transfer to Real Madrid back in 1999.

McManaman revealed that Liverpool’s failure to offer him a contract that reflected his value to the team led to his eventual departure from Anfield.

Steve McManaman

Steve McManaman.

McManaman emerged through Liverpool‘s youth academy before being handed his senior debut for the club in 1990 under Kenny Dalglish.

The Englishman would quickly establish himself as a regular in the team and his sparkling performances led Ian Rush to describe him as the most promising young player at Liverpool at the time.


McManaman would go on to feature in over 350 games for the Reds, contributing 66 goals and 39 assists during his nine-year spell on Merseyside.

Despite his successful stint at the club, the former England international would end up leaving Liverpool to join Spanish giants Real Madrid on a free, a move that sparked anger among the Anfield faithful.

McManaman on Liverpool exit.

McManaman appeared on The Robbie Fowler Podcast and opened up on the events that led to his controversial departure from Liverpool.

“I was getting to the end of my Liverpool contract,” the 49-year-old revealed.

“I felt Liverpool were very slow in coming to me with a new deal.

“As it got on, two years, a year and a half, a year to go of the contract, I just felt that the opportunity now to play abroad – which I’d always wanted to do, I was always thinking about doing – was more prevalent than ever.

Real Madrid

“My football was very good in 1996, 97, 98 and I felt I just wanted to be playing at a higher level than I was at Liverpool.

“I felt that Liverpool were on the cusp of a change which was proven right when Gerard Houllier came in without anyone telling Roy Evans about it and I just felt it was the time to leave.”

The 1992 FA Cup winner also explained that he was the team’s “worst-paid” player despite performing at a high level.

“I was arguably the best player in the team at the time and I was possibly the worst-paid in the team at the time,” McManaman continued.

Steve McManaman

“Some players had come in and earned two, three, four times more than me. I didn’t have an agent at Liverpool so I was never chasing, I was always leaving it up to them and you always felt that they thought ‘he’s a local lad, he’ll be ok’ and it certainly wasn’t the case with me.

“I think I got told we’ll have a meeting in September and the meeting happened in April – and the meeting lasted four seconds.

“We’re going to offer you this, we’re going to offer you that, and I just said ‘no thank you’ and then that was it. I think they realised then, this is not good enough.”

McManaman also revealed that things might have turned out differently had the club offered him a contract that he felt he had deserved.

“Of course, subsequently their offers got bigger and bigger and bigger,” he added.

“As it got to the end and it was like ‘why didn’t you offer me this deal when we had this first meeting and it might have been a different scenario’ but I was well on my way then of thinking that they’re not really appreciating me, I’m still playing well, the team is changing a little bit.”

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , , ,