For a year, Luc Nilis was an Aston Villa player when he could have been at Liverpool.

The former Belgium international, now an assistant manager at VVV Venlo in Holland, moved to Villa Park in the summer of 2000, arriving on a free from PSV Eindhoven.

He started well, playing five games and scoring two goals, but a collision with Richard Wright in a game against Ipswich in early September left him with a double compound fracture in his right shin.

The injury then became infected and while he avoided his leg being amputated, his career ended that day at the age of 33 years old.

When he left PSV, however, Aston Villa weren’t his only choice, with Liverpool also keen on the striker, and in an interview to Sport/Foot, the retired player explained why he forewent a move to Anfield.

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He said: “Liverpool also contacted me, but Aston Villa really insisted. The biggest obstacle was the insurance against the inability to work. Aston Villa wanted me to pay it, but I felt that it was up to them to do it since they got me on a free. I’m glad I insisted on that point…”

The magazine then asked him if he felt his career would have been different and he could have avoided the injury had he moved somewhere other than Villa.

He replied: “I mostly told myself that the ball I was born with was, in a fraction of a second, taken away from me, but you have to believe it was destiny”.

An honest reflection on an abrupt end to a career that saw him scored 254 goals in 438 league games, as well as 10 in 56 caps for Belgium.

Not bad, if you think about it.