Former ​Liverpool star Alberto Aquilani has revealed that he regrets his decision to leave the club back in 2010, citing a Europa League semi final defeat against ​Atlético Madrid as the catalyst for his move to Juventus.


Aquilani moved to Anfield for €20m in 2009 and he would go on to make 28 appearances for club in his maiden year in England, scoring two goals and claiming six assists.

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But the former AS Roma academy star claims that it was Diego Forlan's decisive stoppage-time goal in the Europa League semi final, which set up a final against ​Fulham for Atlético, that convinced Aquilani of forcing through a loan move back to Italy that summer.


"It was a very beautiful experience," Aquilani told Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) ahead of Liverpool's Champions League semi final against Roma on Tuesday. 


"I was 24 and I arrived with an ankle injury that kept me out for a dozen weeks, but I remember [Rafa] Benitez always protected me and, in the end, it was a good season.

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"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."

Aquilani would spend time on loan at ​Juventus and ​AC Milan before eventually leaving the club on a permanent basis in 2012, where he joined Fiorentina for just €2m. The 33-year-old has since gone on to have spells with Sporting CP, Sassuolo and Pescara, but he now plys his trade in ​La Liga with Las Palmas.