Christian Ziege has opened up on why he regretted his transfer to Liverpool .
The former Germany wing-back joined Liverpool in 2000 having already won two Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Cup with Bayern Munich, as well as the Serie A title with Inter Milan.
He was also a Euro 96 winner after helping Germany win the tournament staged in England.
And it was after experiencing football in the UK that Ziege decided he wanted to test himself in English football.
Middlesbrough gave him that chance, and after enjoying an impressive season with the Teessiders, Ziege was snapped up by Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool as the Reds activated the £5.5million release clause in the German’s contract.
But with hindsight he acknowledges it was a bad move. He played just 16 games in the 2000-1 season, and while he helped Liverpool win the League Cup, Ziege was a bystander as Houllier’s side trousered five trophies that year.
“I didn’t play enough and still don’t know why,” Ziege told the Mail . “I scored a penalty in the shootout to win the League Cup but then didn’t play in the FA or UEFA Cup finals.
“Gerard Houllier had a problem that he never bothered to explain. It made me think, ‘If I’m a coach, I’ll always tell my players the truth’.”
Ziege subsequently joined Tottenham where he had a more successful time, scoring seven goals in 47 appearances between 2001 and 2004.
However, his spell with Spurs almost had a tragic end when a freak injury reaction left him fighting for his life on Boxing Day 2002.
“I had a dead leg, no big deal,” he said. “But my thigh was swelling and swelling. I learned later that the blood was trapped between two skins, it had nowhere to go.
“I did not want to go to hospital, not at Christmas, but my wife insisted. Thank God she did. By the time we arrived I was unconscious. There was pressure on everything inside my body, I was fighting for my life.
“They opened the leg and it went down like a balloon. But it left a big hole, something went completely wrong. I still suffer now, but I am also lucky. Another 30 minutes and they would have cut off my leg to save me.
“In this moment, you realise that life is so much more than just a football game.”