Steven Gerrard is the definition of a Liverpool legend. He may well be the greatest player in the club’s history.
But that wouldn’t have been the case should Gerrard have decided to leave the club in 2005.
Just months after guiding Liverpool to their fifth Champions League trophy, Gerrard was disillusioned by not being offered a new contract.
He decided to hand in a transfer request and he was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea.
Chelsea tabled a £32m offer with Jose Mourinho keen to bring him to the club.
Gerrard, though, decided to stay at Liverpool and rebuff Chelsea’s advances.
Mourinho, understandably, was disappointed with Gerrard’s decision as he spoke of his talent.
“Gerrard is a great player and we want an English core very much,” Mourinho told The Times, per Manchester Evening News.
“We normally play a midfield triangle and you can imagine that Gerrard and (Frank) Lampard, with (Claude) Makelele just behind them as protection, could be a very strong team but I think it is Gerrard’s loss more than Chelsea’s.
“Why? Because Chelsea have good solutions; a good team with the conditions to improve and a club which will be one of the best in the world in a short period of time.”
Mourinho then made a prediction about what will happen in the next 10 years.
He continued: “He can say `I was European champion at Liverpool’ and I have to say that is correct.
“But I can say to him in the next 10 years we will compare trophies at Chelsea and trophies at Liverpool. And he will lose.”
And he was spot on in terms of the trophies won.
Gerrard became a legend at Liverpool but he didn’t have much success. He won just three more trophies at the club (2006 FA Cup, 2006 Community Shield, 2012 League Cup).
Chelsea, meanwhile, won 12 trophies in the next 10 years, including three Premier League titles and a Champions League triumph.
The Blues may even have been more successful should Gerrard have decided to join them, too.
Gerrard may not regret his decision but it goes without saying he would have wanted to be more successful during his career as a professional footballer.