Fulham's Ryan Babel says "commercial appeal" of other players blocked his progress
"There are things I would have done differently," says former Liverpool star
Last Updated: 25/01/19 8:29pm
Fulham new boy Ryan Babel says the greater "commercial appeal" of other players kept him out of starting line-ups earlier in his career.
On his return to the Premier League, the 32-year-old said he would have made "different decisions" with his career choices if he had the chance after moving to play in the UAE at the age of 28.
The ex-Liverpool man has now opened up on some of his frustrations with the football industry in an interview with Sky Sports.
"There were situations in my career where I played much better than another player in my position, but that player had a better name in terms of commercial appeal," he said.
"At that time, I didn't really take it seriously, I thought it was just about who was training better, and the manager told me 'We have to play him, because of this reason'.
"That was a big slap in the face to understand and think you need to be a little more lucky to survive in football. I guess it is what it is, but if you know that up front, you can make better decisions by knowing not to join certain teams."
Babel has previously claimed his underwhelming four-year spell at Liverpool could have gone differently, had he received additional guidance at Anfield. With hindsight, he feels more family support was needed.
He said: "There are things I would have done differently. I remember my parents asking me if they needed to join me and I said I could handle it - maybe that would have made a major difference, to have them around and give you a transition into living by yourself.
"I still think I had it in me, but it was a matter of guidance - someone to tell me sometimes to step it up, or to explain to me to do things a bit smarter. I had nobody at that time, and had to figure it out myself. That's hard if you are going abroad for the first time, and going abroad."