With Liverpool-Roma just around the corner, Gazzetta dello Sport are gearing up for the Champions League semi-final clash, and had a chat with someone who’s played for both clubs in his career: Alberto Aquilani.
The Italian midfielder, currently playing for Las Palmas in La Liga, started his career with the Italian side, staying there until 2009, when he was sent to Anfield after the Reds paid £18m for his services.
Happening under Rafa Benitez’s time in charge, Aquilani’s transfer didn’t get off to the best of starts, mostly because he couldn’t play for Liverpool straight away.
Even if he left three years later for just £1.8m, the 33-year-old doesn’t regret his Premier League adventure, as he explained to Gazzetta: “It was a very beautiful experience. I was 24 and I arrived with an ankle injury that kept me out for a dozen weeks, but I remember Benitez always protected me and, in the end, it was a good season.
“It’s a shame we got eliminated in the semi-finals of the Europa League against Atlético Madrid when they scored in the last minute and broke our dream. In hindsight, I regret having wanted to leave. It’s true that Benitez and Eduardo Macia weren’t there anymore, but I would have done better to stay.”
Following the Spanish manager’s departure, Aquilani spent to seasons on loan at Juventus and AC Milan until he was sold to Fiorentina in 2012.
After that, free transfers to Sporting CP and Pescara, followed by a loan to Sassuolo, led to his current club Las Palmas.
A rather eccentric career path for a player who boasts 38 caps and five goals for his country.