Rodgers won the double-treble in two and a half seasons at his boyhood club – the first pieces of major silverware since his managerial debut back in 2008. 

The Northern Irishman was on course to land a historic treble-treble with Celtic before departing them for Leicester in late-February, but has since steered the Foxes to 2nd in the Premier League after a brilliant start to 2019-20. 

In a wide-ranging interview, Rodgers says he is a very different manager to the one sacked by Liverpool in October 2015 – and it’s all down to his trophy-hoovering stint in Glasgow. 

“I think at Celtic I became a winner,” he says in the January 2020 issue of FourFourTwo, out in shops on Tuesday. “I learned that the feeling is different, and it really whet my appetite for more success. 

“Following Celtic as a boy, you know that you have to win every game. You don’t even have that down here with the biggest clubs – sometimes you draw and that’s still a good result. But at Celtic it never is. 

“Once you get your hands on that first trophy, it gives you the feeling for even more. Hopefully, Leicester get the benefits of that.”

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As well as explaining more about his terrific work in nine months at the King Power Stadium, Rodgers reflected on his departure from Liverpool as part of the journey. It’s an experience he still values strongly, despite the pain of going so close to the Premier League title in 2013-14.  

“I arrived at Liverpool aged 39. I didn’t have many years as a manager behind me at that point, but I’d been coaching, working and developing for a long time,” he tells FFT.

“It was a huge challenge but you get that everywhere, in every job. When I joined, Liverpool had just finished 8th, so the task was to get them back into Europe while cutting the budget.

“Liverpool was part of the journey. I felt afterwards that I’d been given a great experience. You’re never happy when you lose your job – no one is – but I’ve always felt that failure is success. It’s on the same coin, you know? 

“It didn’t quite work out for me, but I gained so much from it. I had a brilliant time at an amazing club, but it was time to move on.”

Photo: Nick Eagle

Read the full interview with Brendan Rodgers in the January 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally from Tuesday, December 17. Our belting awards special features a return of our 100 Best Players in the World list, plus exclusive interviews with Megan Rapinoe, Santi Cazorla, Vincent Kompany, Gilberto Silva, Teemu Pukki, Wesley, Kleberson and many more. We also find out how Lyon Feminin became the most dominant side in world football, remember a mad decade of fun and visit Japan to find out more about their very own Barcelona-lite, Vissel Kobe.

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