London, Dec 7: Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch has revealed that he wanted to leave Liverpool just months after signing at Anfield from Southampton in 2005.
The big forward joined the Merseysider's at the age of 24 after having a good time at Southampton where he scored 12 goals before signing.
However, soon after joining the European Champions under Rafa Benitez, the English forward suffered a frustrated barren run and did not score for first 18 matches.
He opened his goalscoring account against Wigan with a brace and since then had a great career with the Kops. The current Stoke City forward scored 42 goals in his three years spell under Rafa Benitez and even won FA Cup in his first campaign, before picking up a Champions League runner-up medal following defeat to AC Milan.
However, Crouch in a surprising revelation has now suggested that during his starting days of barren run he wanted to leave Anfield to go back to his previous club but later started to settle only when he ignored Rafael Benitez's tactical instructions to ease pressure from himself.
“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," Crouch told FourFourTwo, quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
“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 was a part of the Champions League final squad which lost to Milan in 2007 and the 36-year-old shared his disappointment over the match. The striker at that moment was having a good time in front of goal and already had scored seven of them in that competition.
Despite that, he was ignored in the final and ahead of him Dirk Kuyt given the nod up front. He was given a 15 minutes appearances in the dying minutes of the game, however, Crouch suggested he feels he might've had more impact from the kickoff.
“I'd say my biggest regret in football was not starting that game," he added. "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.”