Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel says that he nearly called time on his Anfield career at the end of last season but is delighted that he had a change of heart.
The centre-back was not a regular fixture in the starting line-up in Brendan Rodgers's first season at the helm and feared that he may have to leave in search of first-team football.
However, Rodgers hailed the former Zenit St Petersburg man as one of the best defenders in the Premier League after he scored twice in Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal and the 29-year-old is relieved that he decided to prolong his stay on Merseyside.
"I would be lying if I said I didn't think about leaving," Skrtel told the Liverpool Echo.
"It wasn't easy for me after last season. I was on the bench in the second part of the season and that was something new for me.
"But it is not easy to leave a club like Liverpool because they are still one of the best clubs in the world. After six years here it was not easy to say: 'Okay, I'm leaving.'
"Before this season started I just said to myself: 'I will fight and work very hard to try to show people I am able to play and start the games.'
"I tried to work very hard in training every day and, when I got a chance to play, I tried to do my best to help the team.
"After games like Saturday's I am just so glad and so happy that I stayed. Liverpool are a massive club and I just wanted to prove to people I am able to play for this club."