|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
2019 09 19 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Zinedine Zidane cannot find an XI he can rely on with a 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain] It’s disappointing to lose 3-0. The goalkeeper was poor, certainly for the first goal. Madrid had numerous chances that they missed. Gareth Bale had a nice goal disallowed because it was accidental handball which they would say was harsh. But under the new rules, that is considered a foul. But they’ve got big problems, Madrid. They’ve got an abundance of superstars in their squad. I went through the team and it’s incredible. Yet they cannot find an XI that they can rely on and play well
He keeps going back to Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos. That midfield three, and with respect to them, their best days were three of four years ago. Now they’re 32, 33, 34, and they need to refresh it very, very quickly. Tonight they had Bale, Benzema and Eden Hazard up front and they need to do more for them
2019 11 06 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool are better than Madrid right now] Is the Premier League ahead of La Liga? Yes, right now it is. Because when you are playing well in England, for example, there are clubs in Spain that want those players. But now we are lucky because the best clubs are in England. So you don’t need to play in Real Madrid, for example, because the best teams are Liverpool and Manchester City. Liverpool fans are very happy with the [Mane-Firmino-Salah] trident. Right now Liverpool are stronger than Barca, Madrid or Juventus, but you need a bit of luck when you play in the Champions League. In February and March the Spanish teams will also be stronger and better. But speaking right now, Liverpool and Manchester City are Europe’s best clubs
[McManaman believes that while there have been memorable games for the Reds over their long history, that win might just top the lot] There have been fantastic nights: when you lose 3-0 at Camp Nou and you play at Anfield without Salah and without Firmino and you win 4-0 in a crazy, incredible atmosphere. I think it is one of the greatest nights in Liverpool history, and Liverpool have lots of history, but that night against Barcelona was very special
2019 11 19 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says The Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez row which marred England’s preparations for a Euro 2020 qualifying clash with Montenegro blew over in 10 seconds] To be honest, there are always clashes in training - when you live and play football every single day, there’s always heated incidents on the training ground. When the intensity is high and people are playing for places, you may get away with a tackle or a pull of the shirt and people get frustrated, it happens all the time. To me it was nothing; it was over in 10 seconds, both the players were fine and I was actually there on the day it happened at the hotel and it was quite relaxed afterwards
I thought it was absolutely ridiculous what happened with Joe Gomez being booed at Wembley, but that is just part of what happens when a story gets out - people start taking one side or the other. In the world we live in now, it’s physically impossible to keep anything quiet anymore, and I think that’s the sad thing about it. I don’t think Jurgen Klopp necessarily has to give him any backing by starting him against Crystal Palace on Saturday. I think if everyone is fit, he will probably go with the team that beat Manchester City, and if Joe plays it will be because he is a fantastic player - that’s all
I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been brilliant over the past month or so when he’s been given more time to play. I have no idea if he will start in the European Championships with England, but he deserves to be there, because his form is excellent. I thought he was brilliant last week in the Champions League for Liverpool, his performances are improving the more he stays fit, so I do hope he gets himself into the England squad for the upcoming European Championships.
In terms of getting into the Liverpool side on a permanent basis, their starting XI seems pretty settled at the moment when everybody’s fit and well, but of course we know in December that Liverpool have 10 games as well as going to Qatar for the World Club Cup, so everybody will get a chance to play and a chance to perform well. At the moment, Liverpool’s starting XI deserves to be where it is because they’re in magnificent form
2019 12 05 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Gareth Bale too good for China if Real Madrid adventure is over] I don’t think his time is up, but he’s had six years there so it all depends on whether he wants to leave. If he does want to leave, then I’d love it if he came back to the Premier League. I wouldn’t want him to go to China, because he’s too good a footballer. I’d love to see him back, showing the people of England just how good he still is. I know the situation in Madrid and I know that most of what we read in England is nonsense, because sometimes we’re obsessed with getting our players back in the Premier League
[Bale was jeered – not for the first time – by certain sections of the Madrid support when making a return to domestic action against Alaves] Well I knew that the Real Madrid fans were going to boo him and take exception to it. I just thought it was a bit of a laugh and a joke really, but it was probably just ill-timed. The fact they had qualified and somebody has come out with the flag and done it, I don’t think Gareth was particularly bothered about it.
I know as an ex-player, that your team-mates won’t be bothered about it. Sergio Ramos isn’t going to care about it, but of course fans are very precious about their own club. Because Gareth probably isn’t their favourite player at the moment, he was going to get a more disappointing reaction from the fans. I think Gareth will be fine if I’m being honest. Madrid fans are very fickle fans, they’re happy when things are going well, but they also complain when things aren’t going very well. As long as Gareth plays and he plays well then the fans will support him and of course his team-mates will support him. It’s all about the games and if you win the games, which they have done recently, and he’s playing well, then he will be absolutely fine
2019 12 06 Retrieve
[Former Madrid star Steve McManaman talks about Gareth Bale] If he does want to leave, then I’d love it if he came back to the Premier League. I wouldn’t want him to go to China, because he’s too good a footballer. I’d love to see him back, showing the people of England just how good he still is. I know the situation in Madrid and I know that most of what we read in England is nonsense because sometimes we’re obsessed with getting our players back in the Premier League
2019 12 06b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Manchester United are about a billion pounds away from competing with Manchester City] In about a billion pounds? They need a lot, a lot of work. They need to bring in a number of players, a huge number of players with the quality that can do them justice. A few players are going to leave of course at the end of the season, players who are surplus to requirements, so you’re talking about six or seven players they need to bring in. Three or four are needed anyway, then you also have to replace the number of players who are leaving anyway. They’ve got an absolutely huge job on their hands, they’re going to have to spend a lot of money, they’re going to have to be very savvy and they’re going to have to identify the right players for Manchester United.
Ed Woodward has spent the money, but again there’s that question of who’s actually identifying the players. Who’s the person saying ‘This is the player for us, I believe in them, let’s sign them’? I don’t know whether it’s the manager who’s buying them, or it’s somebody upstairs who’s buying them, but the fans need to know. If the manager is picking the wrong players, then you will have problems. Paul Pogba is still out and that’s a blow, Nemanja Matic doesn’t seem to be fancied, Juan Mata doesn’t seem to be fancied and they’re coming to the end of their careers, so they’re going to need to be replaced. It’s a big, hard job, it really, really is
2019 12 17 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Takumi Minamino is a no brainer for Liverpool at just £7.25 million] I thought he was excellent against Liverpool. I thought he was excellent in the first game, I think he was the one player who dragged Salzburg back into the game and I thought he was really good on Tuesday too. A couple of their players were very good also. I thought Hwang was good up front as well, Haaland was okay, he didn’t have his greatest game on Tuesday and he missed a couple of chances, but Minamino looked very lively and dangerous. If they’re talking about his buyout clause being £7.25 million, we talk about the prices being paid in the Premier League, then it’s an absolute no brainer really to pay that type of money for that type of talent. If he was £100 million then it would be a different conversation, but the fact that he’s the price that they think he is and they think he’s got the attitude that Jurgen Klopp wants then he could be an excellent addition to the Liverpool squad
[German tactician is penning fresh terms through to 2024] It’s a big statement actually because it eliminates all the uncertainty of ‘what if?’. I actually think that managerial contracts now are nothing, if Jurgen wants to leave at the end of the season he could probably just leave and retire or do whatever he wants to do, but I think the fact that he signed a new contract until 2024 stops all the uncertainty and all the talk about him leaving in two years or somebody poaching him. I think him signing a new deal until 2024 gives Liverpool that little bit of security and gives everybody the chance to breathe and plan for the future really knowing that Jurgen’s going to be there and that he certainly wants to be there at this moment in time
[He said of the Gerrard talk] He loves Liverpool, he’s worked with the academy, he knows everybody, he knows the ethos of the club, so of course that will be the job earmarked for him in the future. Whether he wants it, or whether he’s offered it, is another question. If you’re asking me whether I think he’s good enough then I’d certainly say yes
2019 12 17b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Karim Benzema, in his 11th season at Real Madrid, has stepped out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow] I’ve been really impressed actually because ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left, someone had to step up didn’t they? Karim’s been there for 10 years and he’s had to live in Cristiano’s shadow to a certain extent because of the goalscoring exploits of Cristiano. When he left it was down to other players like [Marco] Asensio, Benzema and even this year when they bought Luka Jovic and Eden Hazard, it’s the one person in that forward line who’s been there the longest who’s come to the forefront and they’ve relied on him so, so much. He’s a quiet lad when he’s interviewed, but he’s quietly gone about his business and if anything this has been one of his more prolific years
[McManaman has always been a supporter of the talented forward and hopes that a Clasico clash with arch-rivals Barcelona on Wednesday could be a springboard for Gareth Bale to get his mojo back] Wow, it would be a good catalyst. If you play against Barcelona and you win and you score and you do well then you can get the fans on your side. Whether he will play is another thing. He missed the game against Club Brugge midweek, he only played a small part against Valencia, but I don’t know what’s happening with him regarding injuries at the moment. I’d love to see him play and I’d love to see him play, win and score goals like he has done in the past
2020 01 09 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Real Madrid don’t need Paul Pogba baggage] What Pogba has shown in England, I know Real Madrid have gone cold on him but I know that Zinedine Zidane likes him, however I don’t think that signing him is a necessity now for Real Madrid. Firstly, he hasn’t really played this season and secondly there’s a load of baggage around him which Real Madrid probably don’t need at this minute in time. Real Madrid have to do some in-house clearing themselves
Eriksen on the other hand has played in England for a number of years, he’s going to be available on a free contract at the end of the season, so you’re getting a readymade bargain if that makes sense. If you can bring him in now for a small fee then that makes absolute perfect sense, however there will be a host of teams after Christian Eriksen and it all depends on whether he wants to stay in this country. If he wants to stay in this country then Manchester United would be a natural fit for him, but if he wants to go to Italy or Spain then certainly somebody will take him because if he wants to go to Spain he can sign a contract now and go at the end of the season. It all depends on his personal opinion. Whether he’s good enough to play for Real Madrid is a different matter, because the midfield they’ve got are in good form at the moment.
I saw against Getafe that they were back to the midfield three of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and of course Valverde is also there who’s playing really well, so they’ve got a number of players. He has to weigh up whether he’s going to be the big fish, because if he goes to Manchester United then he could be the star man, but if he goes to Madrid then he won’t be the star man. However, there’s no doubt that he will have the pick of European teams to choose from
2020 01 21 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Mason Greenwood needs more time to develop at Manchester United before being called up to the England squad] I don’t think he should go to Euro 2020, he’s too young - but I think he’s a great player. I live in the North-West and as you know I’m involved in the academy at Liverpool and Greenwood’s reputation for the last three or four years has always been very good. I know what a great player he is, I’ve seen him enough times in youth football and academy football and now in the first team.
He’s a great player who’s scored loads of goals already, he’s a great talent but as I’ve said before, just leave him alone and let him develop at Manchester United and in a couple of years when he’s 20, 21, 22, then let’s look then.
2020 01 23 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool are unlikely to need or want Timo Werner any time soon] I think he’s a great goalscorer and his record proves that. Whether he’s the player that the other three at Liverpool are, with a footballing brain, then I don’t necessarily think he is. I don’t think he’s the type of player that will take people on and positionally move wide and things like that. I think he is a proper goalscorer.
I do wonder if Liverpool are actually interested in him if I’m being honest. I don’t think he’s the type of player that Liverpool would go for at this moment. Is he a proven goalscorer? Yes he is. Would he get into the Liverpool team? Then I think that would be a different question. If you’re going to sign a proven goalscorer for a huge amount of money then he’d want to go right into the team? So that’s why I would question whether Liverpool are actually interested in Werner
2020 01 23b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool don’t need Mbappe at £250m] I’d love to see him make a move to Liverpool! I’ve said for the last three or four years that he’s going to be the best around, but Liverpool are flying at the moment and they don’t necessarily need Kylian Mbappe at this moment in time. They’re going to have to pay £250 million for him. Let’s be honest, that’s what he would cost
If Neymar cost £198 million, then Mbappe is going to cost a quarter of a billion. Liverpool are the best around at the moment, so if you’re going to take a jump like that then there’s going to be a lot of baggage that comes with that.
Not him personally, but the transfer fee itself and that you’re already the best team and you could be upsetting the equilibrium by bringing another big, big forward in, who’s arguably already one of the best in the world, even at this slender age.
It’s a lot to consider for Liverpool if they are going to make this jump. It’s a risk. That’s exactly what it is. Have Barcelona upset their front three this season by bringing in Antoine Griezmann? Did Real Madrid do it when Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema were there? I think the happiness of the team is more important than anything and actually the harmony of the front three of Liverpool, where you’ve got Divock Origi coming off the bench, to a certain extent it works.
We know where everybody stands and we know that people are happy because they want to play every game. We also know that there’s a bigger role in the game and we all know that Origi will play 30 or 40 games this season and he’s not even in the starting XI. Everybody has got their job to play because Liverpool will play 60 games over the course of a season if they go far in the Champions League, so everybody knows that they have to play their part.
Bringing in a world-class superstar does upset that. When Neymar went to PSG, it upset the balance and we all know that and it’s something you have to be very careful about. You have to do your homework, you need to know what else you’re signing as well as just the player. Do you sign a mad agent? Do you sign a mad entourage?
However, to stick up for Kylian Mbappe, all I’ve heard is that his attitude and everything is fantastic and he’s an incredible football player that would make Liverpool’s squad better, but you just need to be very careful, firstly with the price tag and secondly the effect it will have on the squad
2020 02 06 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool should consider bringing Coutinho back] It could be that they opt to bring a certain Philippe Coutinho back to the club. I wouldn’t mind seeing Coutinho back. He’s a brilliant player but a lot of it is just down to economics. If they can bring Coutinho back for a reasonable fee and potentially sell a couple of players who aren’t playing regularly, then that could work.
There are rumours that Xherdan Shaqiri may leave at the end of the season, and Adam Lallana may want to play more often. If there’s space available then I’d certainly like Coutinho back, as he was a wonderful player for Liverpool. He’s that type of player that when plan A isn’t working he can change the game. He scored some incredible goals for Liverpool and though he’d have to win the fans over after he asked to leave, I think that most fans would recognise how good he was for Liverpool. He seems to have lost his way a bit at the minute, he needs a bit of TLC and an arm around him doesn’t he? So if he wants to come back to Liverpool and the deal was good then I’d have no qualms taking him back because he’s a lovely player
2020 02 06b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Zinedine Zidane may decide to head back to Juventus at some stage in the near future for a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo] It would be a shuddering blow to Los Blancos should he walk away from the club. He’s turned it round again this year - I know he’s gone back to his tried and tested formation of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric, but he’s also getting really good results. He won the Supercopa recently, he’s top of the league now and of course they’ve got Manchester City in the Champions League
He’s walked away before so I presume when he retook the job he must have been given certain promises about various things. If promises are broken, then he could walk away again. He’s a strong-willed man and he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If there’s anyone that can walk away then it will be Zizou. It will be interesting to see what happens there as he’s hardly played any of players that he bought in the summer. Luka Jovic has hardly played, he’s gone back to Karim Benzema who’s been incredible this year, so I do think he wants a bigger say on transfers, but as we know in Spain, players come and go
The president and the sporting director sometimes choose their own players and give them as a gift to the managers, so we will wait and see. If he wins the league and leaves, then there will be a queue of clubs who would want him to be their manager. Regarding the links to Juventus, he played for them, he speaks Italian and he’s a hero over there, so it would be easy for him there. Because Juventus are so dominant, he knows Cristiano very well, he knows a lot of the players very well. I don’t know how Maurizio Sarri is thought about at Juventus, but they’re playing very well at the moment. They’re top of the league despite it being a bit closer than normal. I think Zizou could take any job at the moment. He’d get the PSG job if he wanted it, he’d probably get the Bayern Munich job if he wanted it. Everybody would want him because of his record and what he’s achieved in such a short time
2020 02 06c Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool don’t need Sancho as £75m squad player] I think he’d prefer to go somewhere where he will start week-in and week-out. I don’t think there’s any problem with that. The other thing is the cost implications. How much is he going to cost? No doubt, he’s an extremely bright prospect, he’s doing really well in Dortmund, he plays regularly and he’s a star there. Whether Liverpool would go for him now is something that I don’t know and if he was available, he’d command big money and I presume that there’s a number of clubs that would go for him. Jadon could cost £60 million-£75 million and that’s a lot of money for somebody that young even though he looks a fantastic prospect. It’s a big outlay for a player and in all honesty Liverpool’s young players are all doing well themselves and Jurgen Klopp seems to want to give them a go
2020 02 19 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman has addressed rumours linking Todd Cantwell with a switch to Liverpool] In the future possibly, but I don’t think he’s done enough yet to warrant playing at that level. I get the fact that he wants to play at a higher level. I get the fact that he thinks he’s playing well in a struggling Norwich team. That’s completely understandable. It would surprise me if Liverpool were very interested in him, considering the younger kids Liverpool have in and around the squad at that Under-23 level. Again, we will wait and see. I can only take on face value what I’ve seen of Todd Cantwell and he’s done well in various games. Norwich has a lot of really good young players and have done for a number of years so you have to trust what they’re doing down at Carrow Road
2020 02 20 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool will look to tie up any deal for Kai Havertz discreetly] We’ll have to wait and see; he’s a young player with plenty to improve on, who might be the type of player that Liverpool are looking at rather than a fully-fledged superstar. He is one who’s impressed in the Bundesliga this season and Jurgen Klopp certainly knows that league inside out, so he’s got a lot of people to call to get opinions on players.
Liverpool do a lot of their transfer business discreetly, and a lot of the other players were bought when we didn’t know it was happening, such as the likes of Alisson Becker and Fabinho, while Virgil van Dijk was very much the exception.
They’re very low key when it comes to signing players they want in the summer, that’s why I take transfer rumours at the moment with a pinch of salt - and if Liverpool want to do business then they’re not going to tell anyone else about it. They’ll try and get it done before anybody else knows
2020 02 20b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Mbappe could emulate Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact at Real Madrid] I think he would have the same sort of impact. I think he’s the next global superstar now Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are coming to the backend of their careers. Neymar hasn’t really kicked on in the fashion that we all expected him to kick on at PSG. Kylian Mbappe is a young player, he’s very, very exciting and I think he’s got that aura about him to be the next superstar
Real Madrid have pinpointed him, haven’t they? They know that marketing-wise they can make a lot of money back on him and it’s all about how much he would be, if they could get him, how much his wages would be and whether they could afford him
I think he could certainly have that type of impact, it’s just that Real Madrid would have to do a bit of number crunching because they would probably start to fall foul of the problems that Manchester City are currently facing. You just can’t have that many star players in a team with everything being absolutely fine. Then you add another player to the mix who’s going to probably eclipse everybody. It will be interesting to see if they can pull the transfer off
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 02 24 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Sterling won’t form part of mass Man City exodus] In terms of a potential exodus of players, I think that the majority of players will probably feel it is unjust and they will probably stick it out. Raheem Sterling has already come out in support of the club, and I’ve no doubt that others will also come out in support too. On the other hand, if the ban is upheld then City are going to have to start balancing their books, so something will have to change. If that’s the selling of one player here, or another player there. But I don’t think there will be a mass exodus of players
I’ve watched Real Madrid a lot this season and I’d certainly say that City are the favourites to progress from that tie. The English sides, especially Liverpool, despite their first-leg defeat to Atletico Madrid, and Manchester City, are stronger than virtually all the teams in the competition. Juventus on their day could produce something, but overall when you look right across the board, then you’d say the top two English teams are going to be the strongest in this tournament
2020 03 04 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Mohamed Salah’s future is at Liverpool] I see his future at Liverpool to be honest. Regarding this whole aura about Real Madrid and Barcelona, I think players are consistently linked with them because they were both considered the best sides in the world back in the day. The best sides are now in the Premier League. Four or five years ago everybody was saying ‘Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid’ because they were winning things and they and Barcelona were winning the Champions League every other year. The best teams in Europe now are in England, so I don’t understand the premise of why you need to go to La Liga at the minute
Unless Real Madrid sign four or five big players in the near future, then they’re just going to play second fiddle to the Premier League sides. The same applies to Barcelona. Lionel Messi is going to retire in the next few years and Real Madrid are going to lose Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. They’re all in their thirties and there’s going to be a real transitional phase going on in Spain over the next couple of years. We are starting to see the decline of the top Spanish sides before this transitional period. In my opinion, the future of superstar footballers belongs in England
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 03 05b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Man City are better than Real Madrid so why would Sterling leave?] Manchester City at the moment are a better side than Real Madrid, so Raheem is already at the best club for him at this moment in time. We never know what’s going to happen in two or three years. When Spanish sides have a lull to a certain extent, then they go ahead and just smash the transfer market. If Kylian Mbappe joins Real Madrid this summer, then that’s the cycle starting again. If Neymar turns up at Barcelona, then that’s the start of their renaissance too. 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. The best sides in Europe at the moment are Liverpool and Manchester City
2020 03 05b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says £50m Bellingham bidding war isn’t for Liverpool] I’ve heard a lot about him through working in academy football, and his reputation is very good. He’s only 16 and he seems to be linked with everybody nowadays. There was a story about Manchester United being interested in him, and all it’s done for Birmingham City is that it’s increased Jude’s price tag. I don’t know if Liverpool would be interested considering the figures that are being associated with him. Three months ago I read that he was valued at £30 million and now I hear it’s £50 million. Liverpool already have very good young players in their academy, so I’d be surprised if they would join the chase for Jude with that sort of money being talked about
[The ex-England international added on Alexander-Arnold] He’s been amazing for the club this season, and he works really well with Andy Robertson; the way that Liverpool set up without natural wide players up top means that the full-backs give them width, and they’ve both been fantastic. When you look at the right-backs around the world, you’d have to say that Trent is the currently the best. You’d have him ahead of Dani Carvajal of Real Madrid or Danilo at Juventus, and now that Bayern Munich are playing Joshua Kimmich in midfield, then Trent is at least up there with the very best in the world. Principally his job for Liverpool is that he’s an attacking full-back and an assist provider, and his stats prove how well he is performing consistently
2020 03 19 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Jovic is a Real Madrid warning to Haaland] It’s too soon for him to leave Borussia Dortmund. He seems to be happy and more importantly he’s playing regularly and scoring goals. He should stay, he should play and he should get a couple of more years under his belt. He should move when he’s a more experienced player after playing 200 or so games for Dortmund and playing 20 to 30 games in the Champions League, which he should do. He can’t just go and jump ship and go to Real Madrid. You’ve seen what’s happened to Luka Jovic this season, he’s hardly kicked a ball for Real Madrid after having a wonderful season last year in Germany. Haaland doesn’t need that pressure. On top of that, I’ve heard that Real Madrid are interested in Kylian Mbappe instead, so both of them don’t need to be there at the same time
2020 03 19b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Pogba hasn’t played enough for Real Madrid to be keen] He hasn’t played enough football this season for sides like Madrid to be genuinely interested in him. If he stays, plays and gets back to full fitness at Manchester United, I certainly think that he will get back into the starting XI very easily. Nemanja Matic is a year older, Juan Mata is a year older and Paul is definitely good enough to play in those positions alongside Bruno Fernandes, so I don’t think there’s any problem there. He’s certainly got the quality to play in the Manchester United midfield as long as he’s fit and healthy, but we’ve been waiting to hear from Paul Pogba all year regarding his future. Pogba has yet to say whether he wants to stay or whether he wants to leave
2020 03 20 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says No chance of Mane or Salah going to Real Madrid or Barcelona] Well Real Madrid already have Eden Hazard, they bought Rodrygo last summer and they’ve just invested in Reinier in January, so I’d take rumours like that with a pinch of salt. Regardless of how the Champions League turns out this season, the best teams in the world at present are the English teams. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not! They both want to start again and bring in a few new players because they’ve both had disappointing seasons this year, so they’re going to start turning their squads over. Despite this, I don’t think there’s any chance of either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah going to either Real Madrid or Barcelona
His debut season in Madrid has been virtually nothing hasn’t it? I was really impressed with him last season for Porto and I thought he was an excellent central defender. Porto and the Portuguese league is different to playing in Spain with Real Madrid, but when I saw his performances in the Champions League, to me it made sense that Real Madrid had bought him. The thing that’s hampered Militao at Madrid is that when Zinedine Zidane went back to the Bernabeu he returned to his trusted back four who he thinks he can rely on. For the likes of Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy who joined Real Madrid in the summer, they’ve found becoming a permanent fixture in the starting XI difficult. I think Militao was an excellent central defender at Porto and I think that’s the best time to judge him. I think the change of manager at Real Madrid has probably hindered him if I’m being honest, like it’s hindered a lot of their new signings
2020 03 21 Retrieve
[Former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman has warned Erling Braut Haaland against joining the Spanish giants this summer] It’s too soon for him to leave Borussia Dortmund. He seems to be happy and more importantly he’s playing regularly and scoring goals. He should stay, he should play and he should get a couple of more years under his belt. He should move when he’s a more experienced player after playing 200 or so games for Dortmund and playing 20 to 30 games in the Champions League, which he should do. He can’t just go and jump ship and go to Real Madrid. You’ve seen what’s happened to Luka Jovic this season, he’s hardly kicked a ball for Real Madrid after having a wonderful season last year in Germany. Haaland doesn’t need that pressure. On top of that, I’ve heard that Real Madrid are interested in Kylian Mbappe instead, so both of them don’t need to be there at the same time
2020 03 22 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman doubts Real Madrid interest in Paul Pogba] He hasn’t played enough football this season for sides like Madrid to be genuinely interested in him
If he stays, plays and gets back to full fitness at Manchester United, I certainly think that he will get back into the starting XI very easily. Nemanja Matic is a year older, Juan Mata is a year older and Paul is definitely good enough to play in those positions alongside Bruno Fernandes, so I don’t think there’s any problem there
He’s certainly got the quality to play in the Manchester United midfield as long as he’s fit and healthy, but we’ve been waiting to hear from Paul Pogba all year regarding his future. Pogba has yet to say whether he wants to stay or whether he wants to leave
2020 03 24 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman has insisted that there is no chance of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah leaving the club for La Liga this summer] Real Madrid already have Eden Hazard, they bought Rodrygo last summer and they’ve just invested in Reinier in January, so I’d take a rumour like that with a pinch of salt. Regardless of how the Champions League turns out this season, the best teams in the world at present are the English teams. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not. They both want to start again and bring in a few new players because they’ve both had disappointing seasons this year, so they’re both going to start turning their teams over. I don’t think there’s any chance of either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah going to either Real Madrid or Barcelona
2020 03 28 Retrieve
[The expectation to deliver major silverware on an annual basis makes life at ‘Real Madrid very much like Liverpool’, says Steve McManaman] Real Madrid is very much like Liverpool, as in two huge clubs in their particular countries, steeped in history, always looking at the past.
You have got these pictures all over the walls at Liverpool – it will be Emlyn Hughes, it will be Graeme Souness, Phil Thompson lifting these European Cups. In Madrid it was the same, you’ve got [Alfredo] Di Stefano, [Francisco] Gento, [Ferenc] Puskas, you’ve got pictures everywhere and the pressure is on every single season to win a trophy.
And if it’s not the league, it’s the Champions League. You have to deliver silverware, and that was exactly the same at Liverpool. So when I went to Madrid, the faces were different and they spoke a foreign language but the pressure to win trophies was all that mattered.
If you had a barren year – the year before they had finished second in the league and hadn’t won any silverware, the pressure was on again for Real Madrid. You had to achieve. It was quite easy for me. Of course settling in and getting on with your team-mates who all speak a foreign language that you’re trying to learn as quickly as possible, that’s difficult and can be lonely but you have to try your best.
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.
2020 05 14 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Timo Werner may not be ready for the step up at Liverpool] There’s people like Werner who has been linked with a move to the Premier League and Liverpool, but I do not know if he is ready for that step up yet. He’s young, he’s quick, he’s got an eye for goal, he has played for his country. It would be great if Liverpool could acquire him just to strengthen the squad, he is only going to get better. Has he got the quality to usurp the front three? Probably not yet. But he is certainly one for the future
2020 05 18 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Timo Werner would be little more than a squad player] There’s people like Werner who has been linked with a move to the Premier League and Liverpool, but I do not know if he is ready for that step up yet. He’s young, he’s quick, he’s got an eye for goal, he has played for his country. It would be great if Liverpool could acquire him just to strengthen the squad, he is only going to get better. Has he got the quality to usurp the front three? Probably not yet. But he is certainly one for the future
2020 06 11 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Barcelona and Real Madrid are unlikely to appeal to Jurgen Klopp but an opportunity to return to his native Germany at Bayern Munich could lure a highly-rated coach away from Liverpool] I think he really adores Liverpool and the Premier League. But you could see him going back to Germany and managing Bayern Munich. The way that club is run - and the way German managers are treated there - you wouldn’t rule it out. A few years ago it looked like Bayern were on their last legs. But now, along with the more experienced players, they’ve got a plethora of youngsters who are hungry. I’m not sure Klopp has any desire to manage Real Madrid or Barcelona and I don’t see why he’d go to La Liga though. They don’t have the aura that they did when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were doing battle every week. There is also all the politics behind the scenes at Barca with the board and players. Real is a different scenario. They need to refresh their squad and they are bringing in young players like Vinicius Junior - but they aren’t ready yet
2020 06 13 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Jurgen Klopp’s decision not to pursue Timo Werner should come as no surprise] I think it’s going to be difficult this year for teams to spend a lot of money in the current climate. Teams are losing money, we know that, there’s no gate receipts, sponsorship deals will have to be rebated. I don’t think Liverpool will have the year they had when they bought Alisson and Virgil van Dijk but I don’t think they actually need that much to challenge again next year. It’s a case of picking and choosing your position, so a very sensible, prudent signing and maybe a couple of younger players joining the squad should suffice. You’d love them to go and buy a superstar but when has Jurgen Klopp gone out and bought a superstar that was at the tip of everyone’s tongue? Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, at the time, were signings that came out of left-field to a certain extent. You never know with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp, they’ve done a great job in the past with signings and maybe they’ve got one up their sleeve for the summer.
[McManaman is not overly concerned about having seen the Reds turn their back on Werner] It wasn’t a surprise for me. I spoke about Timo Werner a month ago. I think he’s a great player and can improve to be a better player, like with Kai Havertz, but if they joined Liverpool now they wouldn’t get into the starting XI. That’s a major problem when you’re shelling out £50, 60, 70m for a superstar player in Germany, you can’t then bring them to your team and put them onto the bench for half a season. I think he’s a really good player and a great goalscorer and he’ll suit Chelsea because of the forward options they’ve got at the moment. They’re crying out for a Timo Werner to be very honest. He might not get into Man City’s team, so he’s not one for them and I think it’s exactly the same for Liverpool. I think we just put Werner with Liverpool because of Klopp, that’s all it was. Klopp’s said nice things about the players but he would do as a manager as his record speaks for itself
2020 06 13b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool will be looking to smash Manchester City’s Premier League points record] Their league record is phenomenal. Great teams go on to win them again and be serial winners, but in a one-off season, Liverpool will go down as the best really. It’s a great game first up. It’s a derby match so they’ll have to be at it straight away, they’ll have to hit the ground running. And I think they will now say ‘we’ve got nine games left, we want to beat Manchester City’s record’
It’ll be fantastic when it happens but the fans are not going to be there. Further down the line, the fans will be allowed in, they can celebrate properly then and have a parade round the city. But you saw the reaction of the fans when Liverpool brought home the Champions League. If they win the league after 30 years, they will celebrate, but it won’t be the same as being at the ground and celebrating with the team
2020 06 14 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool player Steve McManaman has said that he is delighted that he is not seeing much of the club’s academy players because it is evidence that they are thriving] When I see some of the players who are excelling at the Academy, there’s nothing better than not seeing them again. I mean that in the nicest way because they move up to Melwood, and I love it when I don’t see them again because it means they’re at Melwood and they’re excelling at Melwood. There’s nothing better for these younger players with talent to play with better players, to play with players who are at the top of the game. If you’ve got anything about yourself and if you want to be a first-team player in the future, you should be able to improve so much by playing with the best players in the world – and that’s who Liverpool have got at the moment. I love the fact that Leighton and Jake are there, Neco Williams is there and Curtis Jones has, of course, been there a while, like a number of the older ones. But whenever they disappear to Melwood and hold their own, that means they’re improving, that means they’re getting better