Steven Gerrard has admitted he regrets never having taken Jose Mourinho up on the offer of playing for one of his teams, but maintains that he doesn’t wish he’d joined Chelsea.
At multiple points during his career the legendary Anfield icon was coveted by Mourinho, and linked with a move away from Liverpool. However, in repeated acts of loyalty rarely seen in the game in modern times Gerrard rebuffed moves to clubs that could have offered him a better shot at winning the Premier League.
It ended up costing him the chance to ever lift English football’s biggest prize. This summer he joins LA Galaxy in the MLS, essentially ruling out the prospect of winning the Premier League unless he - as Frank Lampard did - makes a surprise loan return to one of the big four.
That looks unlikely, mostly because if he rejected the chance to play for Chelsea and United in his pomp, he’s surely not going to turn his back on Liverpool and do it now. As the man himself admits however, there’s one manager he’ll regret not playing under.
Mourinho and Gerrard
"I love the manager, I love the man, I've had a distant relationship with him for many years but, I have regrets for not playing for the man and the coach because I know he would have made me a better player," Gerrard said, as per ESPN.
"I know he would have had more trophies to what I've already won. But looking back now I have no regrets not signing for Chelsea. I don't regret it at all.
"I'm happy with the decisions I made. The connection I've got with Liverpool, my home town club. I've probably underachieved at times in certain years with Liverpool but for me it is not all about winning trophies.
"It's also about memories and love and what those memories meant. Winning four or five trophies with Liverpool means an awful lot more than winning 10 or 11 with Chelsea."
It’s far to say that the respect Gerrard has for Mourinho is mutual, with The Special One having conceded he would miss the Liverpool man when he moves to the MLS and admitted that he tried to capture him for Chelsea during his first stint at Stamford Bridge.
At that time Lampard was also in his prime, and though the two English legends never hit it off when partnered on the international scene, perhaps Mourinho could have been the mastermind to integrate a system wherein they complemented each other. That thought alone should be enough for most football fans to wish they had the opportunity to see the gamble in action.
That fateful slip
It’s then somewhat ironic that in the same interview Gerrard revealed that he thinks about the infamous slip he made in the 2013/14 campaign every day.
At the time Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side looked like they were on course to win the title, only to surrender three points to Chelsea in a 2-0 loss, the first goal coming from a horrendous Gerrard slip.
Alas great players are usually let off making such gaffs at some time or another, though the circumstances surrounding Gerrard’s particular mistake mean it will live long in the memory of those who had hoped to see Liverpool lift the title.
He’ll remain a legend however, probably more so because he didn’t take Mourinho up on his offer when he had the chance.
Football fans, what do you think? Should Gerrard have moved to Chelsea during Mourinho’s first stint? Was he right to remain at Anfield? Let us know in the comments box below.