Former Liverpool misfit Ryan Babel admits he still loves the club

The Dutchman is in Istanbul ahead of Liverpool's meeting with Besiktas this evening.

Dutch attacker Ryan Babel is still a follower of all things Liverpool and with The Reds in Istanbul he was always going to swing by and visit the player's in the team hotel - which he did.

Whilst there he had an interview with the official Liverpool website, in which he made it clear Liverpool were still close to his heart:

"I am very excited about attending the game. Since I left Liverpool, I have always been a fan and followed the team over the years.

"Most of the games I try to follow, but I also am obviously still playing myself so sometimes my games are at the same time as Liverpool's, so I have to watch the highlights.

"Liverpool is still a part of me - since I left the club, I have remained a big fan. I still have a house in Liverpool and some friends there. It's a part of me and has been a part of my personal development. It was a good experience."

With blistering pace and an eye for goal from any angle it was Rafa Benitez who convinced him to join Liverpool in 2007 for £11.5 million from Ajax, according to the Daily Mail.

Babel’s four-year spell at the club was mixed in terms of success. On occasions he demonstrated that quite terrifying natural ability in abundance.

But after injury niggles, fitness issues and Twitter rows Babel’s status at the club diminished rapidly. He signed for Bundesliga outfit TSG Hoffenheim in 2010. Since then he has played for boyhood outfit Ajax again and is now turning out for obscure Turkish outfit Kasimpasa of Istanbul.

Babel was an odd one at Liverpool, and in general his career. No doubt full of natural talent but perhaps never met his undoubted potential.

Nowadays he is enjoying his football in Turkey and is hopeful that Liverpool will get one over on his rivals Besiktas this evening:

"In the end, with the penalty, I think Liverpool have a good chance for the second leg. They have a lead, which means Besiktas have to attack...overall, Liverpool should have the confidence to win the game."

Here's hoping that Babel is right.

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