Liverpool defender Kolo Toure has revealed the reasons behind his decision to stay at Anfield for another year.
The Ivorian international has spent much of the last two seasons on the substitutes bench under Brendan Rodgers and made only 13 starts in all competitions in 2014/15.
However, the former Arsenal and Manchester City centre back is willing to play a similar part for the Reds after putting pen to paper on a new 12-month deal, and admits the love he feels from everyone at the club played a key role in him deciding to stay.
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“Honestly, in the end the decision was really simple. There were other offers but I couldn’t leave one of the best clubs in the world," he told the Liverpool Echo.
“For me, to be able to be at Liverpool – playing for this manager and being part of this squad and playing for amazing fans - is massive.
“I really enjoy being here. I feel loved and that’s important. I am so lucky to be at a club like this and I want to help this club to get better.”
Reds cult hero
Toure's cult status among Liverpool fans was only proved further during the club's pre-season tour this summer, with supporters in Thailand, Australia and Malaysia all welcoming the 34-year-old with open arms.
The veteran admitted it was a 'humbling' experience to know he's so popular around the world, and appeared to be taken by surprise by the following Rodgers' side have amassed across the globe.
“It was amazing on the tour and I really felt the love. It’s very humbling when you get support like that," he added.
“In Adelaide it was very cold but the people were very warm. We saw the love for the club all over the world and that shows you how big the club is. Everywhere we go they are behind us.”
Know your role
Despite the fanfare in the Far East, Toure knows that his role this season will again be to fill in when required and help develop young players attempting to make their name at the club.
That said, the defender is ready to give everything in training to challenge the likes of Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren for opportunities.
“I know I have a role to play in helping the younger players. I have a lot of experience but I’m not here just for that," he concluded.
“I want to play football. And I’ll fight and give 100% every single day to show to the manager that I’m able to play. That’s what everyone has to do.
“We have two or three players for every position now. If someone is not fit then we’ve got someone ready to come in and play. You need that competition.”
Liverpool travel to Helsinki for their penultimate pre-season friendly tomorrow night, before returning to England to play Swindon on Sunday. After that, it's the Premier League opener at Stoke before newly-promoted Bournemouth make the trip to Anfield the following week.
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