Date:8th November 2014 at 8:35am
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Udinese legend Antonio Di Natale has admitted the one team he would have liked to play for is Liverpool, and was once close to signing for the club.

The 37-year-old is still banging in the goals for the Zebrette and has six this season, and is one goal away from 200 in Serie A. Though he came close to retiring in the summer, announcing his decision to stop playing in January, which he later went back on.

“It was a difficult time for the team and for me,” he told SportWeek. “ My father was seriously ill, Udinese had lost six games between October and January.

“The criticism was also bad, not for me, but for the group. When things go wrong we need to feel the support of the people. But, once the dust has settled, and after some time by the sea I was convinced to continue.

“I have been with the club for 10 years, and with the milestone of 200 goals to break and if my body holds up.

“But if I take a step back, my decision also came about because of president Pozzo. He made me feel important.

“I spoke to him about the new stadium and I know that I can have a future off the pitch here. Not as a coach though, as it is difficult to deal with players.”

With desire to play not a problem, it is expected that Di Natale will decide whether to continue playing if his body allows it, as well as whether or not he has achieved a few objectives.

“First of all to reach 205 goals like Roberto Baggio. Francesco [Totti] is great and I am going to try and catch him.”

His decision to stay in Udine has surprised many, with reports that he has even rejected Juventus to stay at Udinese.

“I stayed because it is an important place,” he went on. “Out of gratitude to the good feeling which has allowed me to become who I am, and also for the city.

“The Friuliani taught me work ethic and respect. When I left Empoli to come here in 2004 I had many other offers, but history and the numbers prove I was right to come here.

“The only team I would like to play for is Liverpool,” he stated. “The stadium and the atmosphere is amazing.

“When they took [Andrea] Dossena from Udinese in 2008, they also spoke with me, but it came to nothing.”

Looking at one former teammate who is plying his trade in the Premier League, Alexis Sanchez’s success is not a surprise for the Italian, though he did have some words or wisdom for current colleague Luis Muriel.

“Every Wednesday, he and I, alone would train together, hitting long shots. Muriel is even better, but Sanchez was hungrier.

“I don’t know how to convince him [Muriel] to change direction.”