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Rickie Lambert says he fell out of love with football after Liverpool switch

The recently retired striker says joining his boyhood club in 2014 mentally affected him

Recently retired striker Rickie Lambert says he lost his love for the game after moving to Liverpool from Southamtpon in 2014.

The 35-year-old, who rose through the ranks of English football from the lower leagues to the Premier League, says that joining his boyhood club affected his outlook on football and went against his principles.

Lambert notched 117 goals during a hugely successful spell with Southampton

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Lambert notched 117 goals during a hugely successful spell with Southampton

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Lambert said: “I was getting well paid but I never started playing football for the money.


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“And when I decided to go to Liverpool I sacrificed a regular first-team place and that was when I started to fall out of love with it.

“I never should have accepted being on the bench, even though Brendan Rodgers had made it clear to me I would be back-up for Suarez and Sturridge.

“I was never as quick or as technically good as the best players, but in my own head, when it came to actually playing, I could convince myself I was the best.”

He was signed by Brendan Rodgers for £4million

PA:Press Association
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He was signed by Brendan Rodgers for £4million

Lambert joined the Reds following a hugely successful five-year spell at Southampton.

His goals and performances spearheaded the Saints’ promotion drive from League One through to the Premier League, where he continued his goalscoring prowess.

Overall, the striker netted 117 goals in all competitions for the Saints before joining his boyhood club Liverpool, after they sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona in the summer of 2014.

Lambert had started his career at Liverpool as a youth

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Lambert had started his career at Liverpool as a youth

Lambert also made 11 appearances for England, receiving his first call-up at the age of 31.

He went onto to score three goals for his country, including the goal he scored on his debut with his first touch in a match against Scotland.

Lambert scored with his first touch on his England debut

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Lambert scored with his first touch on his England debut

Recalling his experiences, Lambert said: “When I joined up with England I felt lucky to be there, and it was the same at Liverpool.

“And when I look back now I realise I lost something mentally as a player by allowing that to happen.”