|Desc||Ignore the acrimonious exit. McManaman was one of Liverpool’s best players throughout the nineties, before becoming the most decorated Englishman to have played abroad|
|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
- 2013 12 03
- Former Liverpool players Steve McManaman and Rob Jones sit with the Liverpool staff during the Barclays Premier League Under 21 fixture between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Langtree Park in St Helens, England
2016 12 07 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman recounts his initiation ceremony at Real Madrid following his move from Anfield in 1999] I found the dressing room at Madrid quite normal. We went out for a meal. I couldn’t speak Spanish but I had to get up and sing a song. That was my initiation. It was very funny because Rob Jones was over visiting and I said ‘we’re all going out tonight, do you want to come?’
So we all went out, the whole team, and he was with me. I got up and sang – I can’t remember what it was, probably The Beatles or something – and they didn’t have a clue what I was saying
Then they turned to Rob Jones and said ‘right, now it’s your turn!’, So he had to get up and sing as well!
We very rarely went out as a team to be honest, it was mainly something we’d do at the start of the season. But Rob came over the next time and ended up out with us again! That was my initiation, to sing a song with Rob
[Steve McManaman talks about growing up watching Everton] I was at the very famous game where Glen Keeley got sent off and Ian Rush scored. Everton got beat by five at Goodison, and I’m sat bereft as an Evertonian in the Gwladys Street – a junior Evertonian thinking ‘what’s just gone on there?!’. I knew I was going to school on the Monday, I would be getting taunted. That’s how it was
But thankfully I went through that age of 84, 85, 86. Peter Reid, Bracewell, winning the FA Cup, the league, the Cup Winners’ Cup. I was a teenager going to watch that great team, with Sheedy and Trevor Steven and Sharpy and Andy Gray. I was one of the lucky few, to be able to really appreciate that. How lucky was I?
For the 1984 FA Cup final against Watford, I went with my Dad to Wembley. Things don’t get better than that – to go to Wembley and watch your team win, singing songs with my Dad and his mates as a 12-year-old they don’t get better! It was the best thing ever for me
[Steve McManaman talks about learning at Liverpool] I joined Liverpool at 16, and it was great. They were in their pomp then. They had John Barnes, I cleaned his boots, Ronnie Whelan, Steve Nicol, Alan Hansen. To learn from those people, I had the greatest teachers in the world
And they weren’t arrogant, they just wanted to win. Whether it was Kenny Dalglish or Roy Evans or Ronnie Moran, they’d win and it’d be like ‘right, forget about that, let’s go and win again’. They taught me the most incredible values. To train, to play, to mix with these players as an apprentice and then join them as a professional they taught me everything about football
When you play for Liverpool or Real Madrid, the history is all around you. It’s not about winning a youth cup or a reserve league or a game on a Saturday for the first team. It’s Kenny Dalglish scoring against Bruges, or Phil Neal in Rome, Graeme Souness, Phil Thompson, Emlyn Hughes lifting European Cups. That’s what’s on the wall! You’ve never arrived until you’ve added to the club’s history. You’re never as good as what’s gone on before you!
[Steve McManaman talks about leaving Liverpool] It wasn’t financial, because the money Liverpool offered me to stay was virtually on a par. I wanted to leave. At that time I had never played in the Champions League, which was a huge thing. I was playing really good football and I needed to test myself. I felt that I needed to go. I wanted to go abroad, I didn’t want to play for somebody against Liverpool. I was playing good football and I had the right kind of clubs interested in me – Barcelona, Madrid and Juventus
I nearly went to Italy. I was taking Italian lessons that year, I’d spoken to Ian Rush and David Platt. But December/January came around, and Madrid were interested. They were European Champions, World Champions, they were the best team in the world. That white kit, Di Stefano, Puskas, all that. And so it was Madrid
[Steve McManaman talks about the difference between Liverpool and Real Madrid] At Liverpool, especially towards the end of my career there, I always felt that the onus was on me to make things happen. Whereas at Madrid, we had seven players who could do that!
It was easy to settle in, it was just easy to get the ball, pass it to someone in a better position than you and invariably someone would produce a little bit of magic. If it was Figo’s turn to do the magic, he would. If it wasn’t then it was Zizou’s turn, or Ronaldo’s turn or Raul’s turn. It was the way it was
2019 07 05 Retrieve
[on Vicente del Bosque] There should be statues of Del Bosque in every Spanish city given what he has achieved for that country, but most of all in Madrid
2020 02 21 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Bukayo Saka may be sparking interest from Liverpool but the Reds should only be interested if the Arsenal youngster ever became available as a free agent] He looks like a really good player, but he’s incredibly young. If there are contract issues and he ever becomes available on a free transfer then that’s a no brainer because you’re taking someone on a free contract who’s young and has a lot of potential. If he continues his development at left-back, then he’s not as good as Andy Robertson at the moment. If he does join Liverpool then he’s got a long wait and Liverpool already have a couple of young left-backs waiting in the wings who we’ve seen in the FA Cup this year, who would probably be on a par with Bukayo Saka at this moment in time. It all depends on numerous things such as economics and whether it’s a deal that Liverpool thinks is worth doing. They may think that it’s a deal not necessarily in need, but they may do it anyway
2020 03 05 Retrieve
[on Raheem Sterling] Regarding Raheem’s long-term future, I think the thing for him is to continue his career in England, playing under Pep Guardiola, playing for one of the best sides and playing against the best opposition
2020 04 19 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman denies Liverpool suffered from problems with mentality] We just had a few more failings certainly than the side now but against the teams back then that just pipped us to the title. You know on our day we could beat the majority of them, we could outplay the majority of them over the season
We may have played more attractive football or scored more goals than them but it’s the couple of failings that we had. Maybe our rivals had a better squad or a couple of better players.
I don’t think it was a mentality thing or anything like that. It’s just every single year there’s one team that beats everyone else unfortunately and if you don’t get to the top of the mountain then you can’t say you achieved it.
That was one thing we all look back on and think were we good enough, we were on our day but over a 38-game period we probably didn’t just have enough.