Steven Gerrard on why he was jealous of Chelsea and Manchester United

Gerrard says he's been 'craving' the club's return after watching Premier League rivals compete in Europe.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed that he has been jealous of the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea during the five-year period his side have been absent from the Champions League.

But that particular itch will be scratched tomorrow night when the Reds take on Ludogorets in their Group B clash in the Champions League, in a group that also features European Champions Real Madrid and Swiss champions Basel.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham have all competed on Europe's biggest stage during the Reds' exile but Liverpool are aiming to make an impression and take the opportunity before them.

Gerrard is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “Watching the likes of Chelsea and Man United in it when we were finishing outside the top four was tough. I’ve been craving it.

“I’m just glad it’s finally here. It’s reward for all the hard work last season.

“Everyone is looking forward to hearing that music. We need to enjoy it but we’re not in it to make the numbers up. We want to do as well as we can.”

Now Liverpool have an opportunity to make their mark on the European stage - and many are tipping the Reds to get out of their group despite the presence of Real Madrid.

The last time Liverpool were in the Champions League was in the 2009/10 season, only for them to drop down to the Europa League, ultimately reaching the semi-finals of that competition. They will be hoping to at least make it through to the knockout stages of the competition this time around as they look to re-establish themselves in Europe.

After the disappointment of their Premier League defeat to Aston Villa at the weekend, a victory against Ludogorets would provide the perfect tonic.

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