Steven Gerrard stated he knew it was time to leave Liverpool after a conversation with Brendan Rodgers about limiting his game time.
Talismanic captain Gerrard announced his decision to end his 17-year professional career with Liverpool at the end of 2014-15 on Friday, with it later confirmed that he will play in the MLS next season.
The 34-year-old, who famously skippered Liverpool in their UEFA Champions League triumph in 2005 and FA Cup victory in 2006, will forever be remembered as a legend at Anfield.
Since confirming his exit, tributes have flooded in for Gerrard, who was offered a new deal by manager Rodgers to stay at the club.
However, the former England captain revealed that he it is the right time to seek pastures new after having a chat with the Northern Irishman about managing his game time next season.
In an emotional interview with Liverpool's official website, he said: "I think the key conversation or moment was with the manager when he sat me down not so long ago and said it was time to manage my games for me and for the team.
"I'm bright enough to realise it is the right thing for everyone, but when you've been a starter and a mainstay in the team for such a long time, it was a very difficult conversation to have with the manager.
"I accept it and I'll continue to give everything I've got, whether I'm starting, coming off the bench or whatever, but that was the key conversation that swung me to deciding to come away for a short while."
Gerrard, though, insists that he harbours no-ill feeling towards Rodgers and believes that he would have enjoyed greater success on Merseyside had he been manager of the club earlier in the midfielder's career.
He added. "I wish I'd met Brendan when I was 24 because I think I'd be sitting here talking about a lot of titles that we'd won together.
"The reality is, Brendan came into this club when I was 32 years of age and it's a shame that relationship didn't start 10 years ago."
The news of Gerrard's departure was broken to his team-mates after Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Leicester City on New Year's Day and it was greeted with surprise.
"I think they were a bit shocked yesterday," he said. "It was as if the whole club had had some bad news. But I don't want it to be like that.
"Life goes on, it's normal and we carry on working hard for each other. They know what I think of them but it was also nice for me to see what they think of me as well. That was touching."comments