Dutch international winger Ryan Babel has admitted that playing for Liverpool was a dream opportunity he could not refuse.
The 24-year-old moved to Anfield from Ajax in 2007, but found his opportunities in the first team fade year-on-year under manager Rafael Benitez. Chances were in even shorter supply under Roy Hodgson, and Kenny Dalglish then allowed the player to join Hoffenheim in January.
Whilst his success on Merseyside was limited, Babel doesn't regret leaving Amsterdam for Liverpool, and is grateful for the opportunity the club gave him at the time.
"In hindsight, it's easy to say that for my development it would have been better to stay in Amsterdam for a few years. But I don't regret anything," said Babel.
"As a young player, you dream of an opportunity like I got at Liverpool.
"I couldn't let that slip. I could go to Liverpool, a club with a big reputation around the world. For the opportunity that they gave me, I will always keep that club in my heart.
"When it didn't work out at the Reds, I got a chance to start all over again at Hoffenheim. I could restart in relative peace."
Babel has settled into life outside of Liverpool well, and is his Bundesliga side's joint top-scorer in the league with four goals so far this term.
Hoffenheim currently sit eighth, six points off the top of the table.
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