Steven Gerrard says he decided to leave Liverpool when he was told he was no longer an automatic starter.
The club's longest-serving captain is leaving for the United States when his deal is up in the summer, and at the time of the announcement he said the move was down to "a wish to experience something new".
But in an interview with Liverpool's television channel on Saturday Gerrard admitted it was a "difficult conversation" with manager Brendan Rodgers that made up his mind for good.
I wish I'd met Brendan when I was 24 because I think I'd be sitting here talking about a lot of titles that we'd won together.
He said: "I think the key conversation or moment was with the manager when he sat me down not so long ago and said it was time to manage my games for me and for the team.
"I'm bright enough to realise it is the right thing for everyone, but when you've been a starter and a mainstay in the team for such a long time, it was a very difficult conversation to have with the manager.
"I accept it and I'll continue to give everything I've got, whether I'm starting, coming off the bench or whatever, but that was the key conversation that swung me to deciding to come away for a short while. I had an idea it was going to come at some time – I'm a human, not a robot."
Gerrard will leave bearing Rodgers no ill-will and said: "I wish I'd met Brendan when I was 24 because I think I'd be sitting here talking about a lot of titles that we'd won together.
"The reality is, Brendan came into this club when I was 32 years of age and it's a shame that relationship didn't start 10 years ago."
The 34-year-old, who captained the side to a fifth European Cup in 2005, will go down as a genuine club legend, according to his manager.
And Gerrard says he will only return to the club in a coaching role if he feels confident of maintaining that reputation.
"I think that's something I'll have to consider," he said. "I think when you've been part of a club like this for so long and you've contributed in the way I've tried to, I'd always want that to stay the same in the future. I wouldn't like to come back just to be Steven Gerrard the player and just be around.
"I'd like to help in whatever capacity that may be. If I sit down with the people who are running the club at that time and they see a role for me where I can help the team or help young kids to become players, of course I will consider it."