Liverpool Missed Out On Four Future Champions League Winners When Houllier Was Manager
A Liverpool scout has revealed that the club missed out on four future Champions League winners during his time at Anfield.
Alex Miller was part of Rafa Benitez's coaching staff for the incredible 2005 Champions League win but before that he headed up scouting and recruitment when Gerard Houllier was at the helm between 1998 and 2004.
Miller, who had eight different managerial jobs in the game, says he pushed to sign Gerard Pique and Cristiano Ronaldo, who both joined Manchester United as youngsters.
"I looked at Gerard Pique and I tried to get him," he said in an in-depth interview with ESPN.
"The Spanish delegation he was with at a youth tournament, I think it was his grandfather who was the delegate for the Spanish federation. Well he wouldn't give me permission because I think Man United were already in at that point.
"I brought Cristiano Ronaldo [suggested to Liverpool as a signing]. That's water under the bridge, I recommended him and saw him at a youth tournament."
Ronaldo has since won five Ballon d'Ors, scored over 500 career goals and cemented himself as one of the all-time greats to name just a few of his achievements, while Pique has won six La Liga titles, three Champions League as well as the Euros and World Cup with Spain.
But, as per Miller, they weren't the only future Champions League winners Liverpool missed out on. John Terry and Petr Cech were instrumental in Chelsea's 2011/12 triumph and the pair were heavily courted by the Reds in the early days of their careers.
"I tried to get John Terry to come," he added. It was 2003 when Chelsea beat Liverpool for the last place in the Champions League.
"It went to the final day and they beat us at Stamford Bridge. After the game I went to speak to John Terry to try and get him.
"How I did it was, I went up to him in the corridor and asked him for his autograph. He said yes. As he was signing it I said: 'Could you put your mobile phone number? Gerard Houllier would like to talk to you.'
"He put his agent's number and said to talk to him. Gerard Houllier spoke to his agent on the bus. I think he just used us to get more money out of Chelsea.
"I also had Petr Cech, but at that moment in time we were trying to sign Chris Kirkland. I went to a game to watch Milan Baros and Petr Cech was making his debut.
"I then went to Argentina, I think it was in 2001, the Under-20 World Cup. You could have got him for a song. He was with Chmel Blsany and then he moved to Sparta Prague and then he moved to France [signing for Rennes]."
The final interesting claim from Miller is that he also passed up on Diego Forlan. The Uruguayan didn't fare well at United but did memorably grab a double in a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield in 2002.
Hindsight is a great thing, isn't it?
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