Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has opened up on his extensive injury list and divulged he would have paid ‘any amount of money’ to stay fit.
Sturridge scored 67 in 160 games in all competitions for Liverpool but 35 of those came in his first two seasons, with just 32 goals in the following five as a cruel succession of injuries limited his appearances.
The 26-time England international scored 24 goals for Brendan Rodgers’ swashbuckling Liverpool side in 2013/14 – the year they narrowly missed out on the title to Manchester City – but Sturridge never reached similar goalscoring heights.
Speaking to The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy on her Between The Lines podcast, the ex-Chelsea and Manchester City striker described the mental toll of being stuck on the sidelines.
Sturridge ‘would spend hundreds of thousands’
He said: “I saw a quote from [Borussia Dortmund forward Marco] Reus the other day which said he’d pay any amount of money to just play injury-free and never be injured.
“And honestly, I’d do the same, I would. I would pay any amount of money. I’d spend loads of money outside of the physios to do extra stuff to ensure I can be as healthy as possible.
“Hundreds of thousands, to make sure my body was in the best shape possible.
“And the toughest thing is the mental side because you know you’ve given your all. If you’re not strong mentally, injuries will continue to break you and send you down a dark path.”
Playing through the pain barrier
Daniel Sturridge, 31, now a free agent after leaving Turkish side Trabzonspor in March, asserted he played despite injuries throughout his career.
He added: “I’ve played on injuries and put my body on the line for the team on countless, countless occasions.
“I remember we played against Man United at home, we won 1-0 and I scored a header. Nobody knew this but before the match, I had a quad strain, but I put my body on the line.
“That’s something I’ve always done. I’ve always put my body through everything to put the shirt on for the team, because it’s what I love.”