Steven Gerrard claims suffering gut-wrenching lows can be just as important in shaping a career as enjoying memorable highs.
The Liverpool midfielder has visited both ends of the sporting spectrum during his playing days and is adamant that he is a better player for the experience.
He claims to have learnt from each situation and used those feelings, either ecstasy or agony, to form new targets.
Now captain of his hometown club and stand-in skipper of his country, that hard work has paid off handsomely.
Things have not always gone so swimmingly for Gerrard, though, as he recalls hitting rock bottom back in 2002.
After seeing his parents split up, the combative playmaker admits he put in what was arguably the worst showing of his career in a UEFA Champions League contest with Swiss side FC Basel.
He refused to dwell on those failings, though, and insists that, ahead of a meeting with the Switzerland national side on Tuesday, he would not change the career path he has taken.
"Yes, my parents had split up, but that was just an excuse," recalled Gerrard. "I was just terrible.
"You have to blame it on something. It was probably one of the worst performances I've put in. I totally deserved to be whipped off at half-time.
"But that is where you learn from things like that that happen to you, throughout your career, the highs and lows. You become a better player from them.
"I was left sitting in the dressing room, on my own, having been taken off in one of my first Champions League games. The players go back out 3-0 down and you've put in a bad performance.
"That was certainly a low in my career, let me tell you. But it helps you become the player you are. You learn from experience. I'm the player I am today from learning and recovering from my lows, rather than dwelling on my highs.
"It was eight years ago. I don't look back that far, I look ahead and I certainly won't be thinking about that performance when I go out (on Tuesday)."
One experience Gerrard has enjoyed is leading out his country, even if he has been caught in the eye of the storm after Rio Ferdinand sustained a long-term injury prior to this summer's World Cup finals.
"This is the last time you'll see me here -so enjoy it while I'm here!" joked Gerrard, who is set to pass the armband back to Manchester United centre-half Ferdinand now he is closing in on full fitness.
"I've had to deal with some difficult questions, I won't lie to you, and I've been as honest as I can. I've really loved leading the team out, every minute of it, even the games we've lost. I've been proud to lead the team out."
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