Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has shed some light on the reason behind his Liverpool exit, saying that unfulfilled promises contributed towards his transfer in 2010.
Sky Sports reports how the Argentine international left Anfield after three successful seasons on Merseyside, under the former tutelage of now Napoli boss Rafa Benitez.
However, in the aftermath of the Spanish coach's departure, Mascherano said that he struggled to establish the same relationship with Benitez's successor Roy Hodgson, and the club's managing director Christian Purslow.
"I didn't want to say anything at the time because of my respect for Liverpool," explained the Barcelona star in an interview with The Times. "Maybe that was a mistake because it allowed other people to say bad things about me. But I do not regret it.
"Liverpool is a special club and it does not deserve to be treated badly. The people who were there at the time - the manager and Christian Purslow - have now gone, but they know the truth.
"When I went back to Liverpool for pre-season I had a lot of meetings with them and they were promising a lot of thing to me but never kept their word."
When Barcelona's interest came about, Mascherano hinted that his prospective transfer to Camp Nou was made unnecessarily difficult, which left a bitter taste in the mouth of the 29-year-old.
"I did not wake up one day and refuse to play," he continued. "In the game before [Manchester] City we played against Arsenal and I gave everything because I was wearing the Liverpool shirt.
"Why would I do that and risk getting injured when I knew that Barcelona were close to signing me and then refuse to play in another game? That doesn't make any sense.
"We had been talking about completing the transfer for 20 days because the club also wanted to make it happen, but then they started to make things difficult for me."
The South American says that although his reputation might have been tarnished in the eyes of some Liverpool supporters, he has fond memories of his time in England, and is happy to now share his version of events surrounding the exit.
"The people treated me really well and I would never want to let them down. I wanted to leave in another way, but they didn't give me the chance to. That is the truth.
"It left me with a bad feeling. My time at the club was over and I needed to move on, but I also needed to leave the club in a good way and that wasn't allowed to happen."
Mascherano returns to England this week, as Barcelona take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms