Opportunities all Sturridge wanted
The England international, 24, joined Liverpool in January 2013 after frustrating spells at Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as a short and successful loan stint at Bolton.
With Luis Suarez, Sturridge has formed the Premier League's most dangerous strike partnership to help Brendan Rodgers' side into title contention.
Sturridge said money played no part in his decisions to leave City and Chelsea, with first-team opportunities the motivating factor.
"Maybe because I played for City and Chelsea, people think 'oh he has played for big clubs', but I have always chased to play," Sturridge said.
"I want to be successful, I'm a winner and I've always wanted to win - but it's not about sitting on the bench, it's not about watching from the sidelines and earning money and being content. It's about playing, living your dream, winning medals and leaving the pitch with a smile on your face.
"People think I got loads of money at City and left for Chelsea to chase more money. They said 'he's a money grabber' yet they were the richest club in the world, so how was I chasing the money when I was leaving them?"
Sturridge said a 12-match loan spell at Bolton in early 2011 was when his life changed, as he scored eight goals for the club.
He paid tribute to then Bolton manager Owen Coyle and recalls his desperation in forcing the move.
"Chelsea didn't want me to go, but I was desperate," Sturridge said.
"I spoke to (chief executive) Ron Gourlay and begged. Owen Coyle changed my life. It was the first time I was in a first team, playing centre-forward. I had a chance to show the world how I could play.
"Owen's a great man. I still treat him as my manager because he was someone who influenced my career more than most. I will always be grateful to him."