XABI ALONSO has revealed he decided to quit Anfield when Liverpool tried to sell him in the summer of 2008.
The Spanish midfielder admits his mind was made up after boss Rafa Benitez contemplated offloading him to Juventus to raise cash to buy Gareth Barry.
Ultimately, the American owners refused to sanction a bid for Barry and Alonso stayed put.
But 12 months on the 27-year-old demanded a transfer and joined the new Galacticos at Real Madrid in a £30million deal.
Alonso said: 'Last summer when the club proposed I had to be sold to get funds to sign new players it was a difficult moment to accept.
'I accept it as a professional but that moment probably changed my mind and I thought maybe from that moment it was maybe time for a change.'
Alonso admits his relationship with Benitez went downhill after he missed the Champions League clash with Inter Milan in March 2008 to be at the birth of his son.
'There has been a lot of rumours but I have always said that it has been simply a professional relationship,' he added.
'I have always tried to do what he asked me to do, to try to deliver on the pitch, to do the talking on the pitch.
'When the birth of my child happened, I had to take a decision. I had to be with my family because it was a very important moment.'