Martin Skrtel could have played 90 minutes as the Liverpool Legends took on Man United on Saturday, only for a familiar, “unfortunate” injury to force him off.
Six years after departing for Fenerbahce, Skrtel made his debut outing for the Liverpool Legends as they hosted United at Anfield on Saturday evening.
The centre-back, who only retired from playing in May, started alongside Stephane Henchoz in defence in a game that ended 2-1 following goals from Mark Gonzalez and Florent Sinama-Pongolle.
It was no surprise that Skrtel was in a position to go the distance, with a fitness and age advantage over many of his team-mates, but with around 75 minutes on the clock he was brought off through injury.
After a clash of heads with Fraizer Campbell, the Slovak was required to leave the pitch and replaced by Momo Sissoko, but speaking to LFCTV after the game, he confirmed he was given the all clear.
“I’m OK! It was an accident. That can happen,” he explained.
“Unfortunately it happened many times to me, but thank god I’m good!”
The charity game was the first time Skrtel had represent the Reds since his exit in 2016, and the 37-year-old spoke of his delight upon returning.
“[It is] exciting, you know?” he said.
“Obviously I was a little bit nervous because to come back again, the stadium has changed a little bit.
“But anyway, to play for Liverpool is always an honour for me. It’s no different if I was professional or now.
“I enjoyed today and hopefully in the future I can get more of these kinds of games.”
Skrtel is likely to get a call back next time the Liverpool Legends are in action, having proved himself a valuable asset for Sir Kenny Dalglish, which would give him another opportunity to revisit the city.
“It was the first time I’ve come back to Liverpool since I left,” he explained.
“It was nice to come back, see the guys. It was a little bit of a shame maybe Stevie or Carra or some of them couldn’t come, but I enjoyed the guys who could manage to be here.
“We had a good game and now hopefully we’ll have a good night!”