Roberto Aquilani, a player who was once tipped to become a big player for Liverpool having signed for the A field club in 2009, believes his Liverpool career would have had a different storyline had it not been for Diego Forlan.
Aquilani was signed by ex-manager Rafael Benitez from Roma in August 2009 to provide some bolstering to the Reds midfield following the departure of Xabi Alonso, who left the club to join Real Madrid.
The Italian did not enjoy his debut season in his Liverpool career much, as he struggled to find the form that convinced Benitez to sign him, having also suffered niggling injuries. However, he became a more constant player for the team when Liverpool got to the Europa League semi-final stage against Spanish side Atlético Madrid.
He even impressed in the match, appearing on the scoresheet after scoring a goal, alongside Yossi Benayoun to seal a comeback victory after losing the first leg 1-0 away at Atlético.
He however recollects that the goal former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan scored to win the tie against Liverpool was a career-impacting away goal for the Spanish giants. Aquilani said had Forlan not scored that goal, Liverpool would have proceeded to play Fulham in the final and it would have been a huge chance for them to win the trophy.
He added that had he won the Europa League with the Reds, it would have been his very first trophy, which would have changed his career, and his life as a whole. But continued that since they did not win the match, the defeat meant that everything turned out to be different. That no one remembered his goal, or how he put in a sublime performance in the game.
The said goal was just one of the only two goals he scored from Liverpool in as many as 28 appearances for the club, having joined the club with an ankle injury that saw him miss out the entirety of seven months of football and he had to wait for his debut till the ending of October in the year 2009.