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Liverpool legend returns to Anfield for game against Manchester United

By Charles Cornwall

Liverpool legend returns to Anfield for game against Manchester United

Martin Skrtel will pull on a Liverpool shirt for the first time in six years when he turns out at Anfield next month.

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Centre-back Martin Skrtel, who made 320 appearances for Liverpool between 2008 and 2016, retired from professional football earlier this year but has been maintaining his form with minutes for his local amateur side in Slovakia, playing as a striker.

The 37-year-old spoke about the upcoming Legends match, his retirement from the game and the transformation of the club under Jürgen Klopp. According to Skrtel, he is very excited to return to Anfield and play in a Liverpool shirt again.

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"Very much so. When I was still playing football, I was very busy and didn't have time to go back and visit a game or anything like that. But obviously I followed the club, I followed the team, I was and still am watching every game. When you spend almost nine years [there], the club, the team and the city are still in your heart. I missed the club, I missed the place and now I'm finally back. I think we can say we are coming back to [our] second home, because my son was born in Liverpool and we spent nine years there. It will always be our second home," he said.

Skrtel's words

The former Reds defender said he retired because he had quite a big problem with his back and was unable to train and play on a day-to-day basis, but it has been more than two months and he is undergoing treatment for his problems, which is improving significantly. He also started playing in Slovakia, something like the Sunday league in the village where he was born.

"When I left Slovakia when I was 19, before going to Russia, I told one of my friends that one day, when I retired from professional football, I would come back to this village. I've played two games and we'll see how many more I'll play. It's fun. I'm 37 years old but I'm the second youngest on my team, so it's fun. Also, I've changed positions, because now I'm playing as a number nine or a false nine," he said.

The now striker recounted that he has scored three goals in two games, although after retirement it was strange, because he had a professional routine that he left, but this summer he had a lot of holidays. "But it was also difficult because I had to retire. In my head, I wasn't ready to retire because I wanted to keep playing, but obviously I couldn't," Skrtel said. 

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