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Zidane: Gerrard Turned Down Madrid Twice

Zidane: Gerrard Turned Down Madrid Twice

–Scholes says Gerrard should have joined Chelsea in 2005

Zinedine Zidane has revealed he told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign Steven Gerrard in the summer of 2004 – but the Liverpool captain would not leave Anfield.

Zidane wanted the then-England international to partner him in midfield but Gerrard stayed loyal to Liverpool, turning down a move to the Bernabeu on two occasions.

Gerrard announced on Friday he will leave Liverpool at the end of this Barclays Premier League season after 26 years, and Zidane has expressed admiration for the 34-year-old’s dedication.

‘I have said in the past that at his peak he was the best in the world,’ said Zidane.

‘I think it was the summer of 2004 I was having a conversation with Florentino (Perez) and I told him I wanted him to partner me in midfield for Madrid.

‘I know the club tried twice but he wouldn’t leave Liverpool. Not many players turn down Real Madrid but I think that tells you a lot about the loyalty of the man.’

Gerrard went close to his first Premier League title last year as Liverpool finished two points behind champions Manchester City.

He is expected to move to Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy, New York City and New York Red Bulls among those interested, and Zidane feels there are trophies there for the taking.

‘It is incredible he has never won a league title but he has had success with Liverpool,’ continued Zidane. ‘The years of him winning trophies are not behind him. I am sure he will be very successful in the MLS.’

Meanwhile. Paul Scholes believes Steven Gerrard should have left Liverpool to join Chelsea after the Reds’ 2005 Champions League triumph.

Gerrard announced on Friday that he will leave Anfield upon the expiration of his contract this summer and LA Galaxy appear to be the frontrunners to land his signature, though Goal understands that Orlando City would also be interested in a potential move were the price right.

However, former Manchester United midfielder Scholes, who won 11 Premier League titles, believes Gerrard “deserves to have a league winners’ medal”, and says the 34-year-old should have moved to Chelsea when he had the chance.

“It’s difficult for me, as a United fan, to say it’s a pity that Gerrard has never won the league,” he told The Independent.

“If there was a time to leave Liverpool and join another club, he should have gone to Chelsea when they tried to sign him for the second time after he won the Champions League in 2005.

“It always looked like Chelsea would win the league more than once.”

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