Peter Crouch has revealed his biggest regret in football came in his time at Liverpool and has admitted he wanted to leave Anfield after three months.
The Stoke striker, 36, who has just signed a new one-year deal, has three seasons at Liverpool after signing from Southampton in 2005.
Crouch scored 42 goals for the Reds and became a fans’ favourite, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the former England man, who failed to score in his first 18 games for the club.
Crouch told FourFourTwo: “I went through a little barren spell – well, quite a big barren spell (laughs) – and I really just wanted to head back to Southampton as fast as possible.
“I was thinking ‘what have I done?’
“Thankfully, I stuck it out. The manager wanted me to do different things to what I was used to. I was doing them and working really hard, but I was trying to score that goal while playing a lot deeper.
“It got to the stage where I was saying to myself: ‘I’m going to have to start being more selfish’, so I played higher up the pitch, perhaps against the manager’s wishes (…) but I’ve got nothing bad to say about Rafa, he was first class.”
Crouch had a solid if not spectacular career at Liverpool and won the FA Cup in his first campaign, before picking up a Champions League runners-up medal following defeat to AC Milan.
But his biggest regret in the game was not starting the 2007 final in Athens, despite scoring 18 goals that season.
Rafa Benitez opted to leave Crouch on the bench and he onlt replaced Javier Mascherano 12 minutes from time with Dirk Kuyt starting up front.
Crouch added: “I’d say my biggest regret in football was not starting that game. I felt I should have been in the team.
“I’d scored a lot of goals that season in the Champions League and played pretty much every game, so not getting picked to start the final was devastating for me.”