The Walsh ace ended his second spell on Merseyside shortly after the Northern Irishman switched to Anfield from Swansea to make a return to his hometown club.
Bellamy has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the Premier League, representing clubs such as the Reds, Manchester City, Newcastle and West Ham, and is immensely respected despite his feisty edge having landed him in hot water on multiple occasions.
Rodgers – whose side travel to the Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon – says that not getting to coach the spiky 34-year-old is something he regrets:
“It’s one of my only regrets, really, that I never got the chance to work with Craig.” He is quoted by The Express.
“I’ve followed him in his career right the way through; an outstanding player, very honest, speaks his mind, but is an ultimate professional.
“He always prepares himself well. He’s given his life to being a footballer. He’s a big Liverpool supporter and did very, very well here.
“When I came in, he had a year left on his contract but for other reasons he needed to move back home – and that was a regret because I’ve always seen him from the outside as someone who was very passionate about football, but who had great qualities.”
Bellamy enjoyed a fine final season at Anfield, helping Liverpool to lift the League Cup under the guidance of Kenny Dalglish.