Damien Duff admits to having cried after sealing a move away from Chelsea, with the former Republic of Ireland international conceding that he made “the wrong call”.
He had enjoyed three productive seasons with the Blues when the decision was taken to head for Newcastle in 2006.
Duff had played a leading role in two Premier League title wins at Stamford Bridge and a League Cup triumph under Jose Mourinho.
Some of the best football of his career was produced during his time with Chelsea, with his efforts on one flank complemented on the opposite side of the field by Arjen Robben.
The Blues were an attacking force to be reckoned with as they boasted pace, trickery and power in abundance.
Duff thoroughly enjoyed his spell in west London and acknowledges that he left too soon.
He told FourFourTwo: “I cried on the day that I left [Chelsea] – looking back, that probably should have told me I was making the wrong call, as I never cried when I left Blackburn, Newcastle or Fulham, or even when I retired. But it was my own decision.”
The 37-year-old, who brought the curtain down on his career in 2015 after a spell at Shamrock Rovers, has also revealed that he also had several opportunities to join Liverpool.
He added: “I came close [to joining Liverpool] two or three times.
“The first was a year or two before I signed for Chelsea [in 2003]. I would have gone there, but Blackburn wanted a big fee so not too many clubs could afford to buy me back then!
“Then when I was leaving Chelsea, the same move nearly happened again.”
Duff retired having made well over 600 club appearances and with 100 caps for his country. He is now working as a first-team coach at Shamrock Rovers.