In his final interview before being unveiled as manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers tells the South Wales Evening Post why he had to go.
“For me, the only way I was going to leave Swansea was for a big club, and I mean a big club, it was an extremely, extremely difficult decision because my plan was always to stay here at Swansea for a number of years.
“I have always been up front and honest. I have always said that I wouldn’t be here forever and that one day I would go, but I honestly never thought the opportunity would come round now."
“In my life and in my football, I have been very happy in Swansea. But when an opportunity to work at a club which is more than a club comes round, it’s a professional challenge which is too good to turn down."
“Liverpool are one of the dynasties of the game. They have won five European Cups and their status is up there with AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.”
“That professional challenge is what my journey in coaching has been all about, in any journey, whether you are a journalist or a football manager, you want to be the very, very best that you can.
“My journey has taken me to an area and to a people that will be in my heart for the rest of my life, so the decision to leave that behind was not easy.
“I honestly didn’t expect it to come around so quickly but, when it comes, you have a choice to make."
“The footballing choice is to go to a club that everyone knows about — it doesn’t need explaining. But the hardest part is having to leave a group of players and a people who have given me such a wonderful life here.”
“I have had three previous opportunities to move on but I never had to consider them for very long, but when a club of Liverpool’s status comes in (you have to pay attention). I turned them down once out of respect, because I didn’t want to go into a process and disrespect anything about Swansea.
“When they come in a second time and make you their No. 1 target, then you have to think.
“We have seen over a number of years that the number of British coaches who get a chance at the big clubs is very few.
“When those opportunities come, and they may come only once, you have got to make a decision.”
“I still hope I can do that when I’m retired, It’s always sad when you leave somewhere you love, but hopefully I have left a decent legacy here.
“Hopefully I can return. We will have to see what the reaction is.”