Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool and Jose Mourinho would have made the "perfect match" had the Merseyside club recruited the Chelsea boss during his 17-year spell at Anfield. The ex-England captain played under five managers during his Merseyside career but has bemoaned his former club's failure to acquire the Portuguese coach.
Though Gerrard won 10 major honours during his time with the Reds, he was unable to win the Premier League title during his career in the English top flight – a success Mourinho has tasted on three separate occasions at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea boss has regularly been the scourge of Gerrard's side but that has not stopped the LA Galaxy midfielder heaping praise on him.
Mourinho attempted on several occasions to prise Gerrard away from Liverpool while at Chelsea, with the 35-year-old set to move to the Premier League champions in 2005 before a dramatic U-turn saw him sign a new contract. Nevertheless, Gerrard is disappointed he never got the chance to play under Mourinho.
"Chelsea fans are not my people," he wrote in his autobiography, according to the Daily Mail. "We've all worked that out over the years. I belong to Liverpool. Jose Mourinho understood my reasons; but each time he came in for me he was very persuasive.
"I liked the way he spoke to me and I could see how most of his players were ready to die for him. I remembered him winning the Champions League with Inter Milan and the devastation of his players when he left. You could see it in their faces. I understood how they felt because they had shared such a big moment in their careers together.
"I never had that with Rafa Benitez. I would have had it with Jose Mourinho. It was clear that, tactically, he could set up his team to win any football match. He could spoil, he could fight, he could do whatever you needed because he was a pure winner. But, more than that, he created a special bond with each squad he managed."
"You heard it in the way his players spoke about him," he added on the Chelsea boss. "You saw it in the way they played for him. For me, the ideal situation would obviously have been for Mourinho to have managed Liverpool.
"He was linked with a move to Anfield a couple of times but it never materialised. I know I'm biased, but I think it would have been a perfect match. The Liverpool fans would have loved him and he would have known exactly how to turn that love into adoration. He always told me about his deep respect for our supporters. Jose would have had a fantastic time bringing huge success to Liverpool."