Glen Johnson has told the Daily Mail he lost respect for Jose Mourinho because the Chelsea manager broke a promise to him over playing time.
Johnson, 29, became the first signing of the Roman Abramovich era, moving from West Ham to Stamford Bridge for six million pounds in July 2003.
However, the right-back found times hard when the Russian billionaire sacked Claudio Ranieri and brought in Mourinho, who he claims dropped him despite fine form for the Blues.
"It was difficult for me under Jose [Mourinho] at Chelsea because there was a moment when he said I deserved to play on merit," he said.
"He said if I played well in the next game I would play the week after. I got man of the match so he couldn't drop me.
"Then in the next game he said the same thing and I got man of the match again. Then we had another game, and after that, Barcelona.
"I remember speaking to my agent and saying, 'He won't play me in this game because if I play well then he has to play me against Barcelona' -- and I knew that wasn't going to happen.
"He didn't play me in that game and from that moment I just lost it and thought, 'Well, how am I meant to respect you now? It's just finished'."
Johnson ended up moving to Portsmouth on loan before making a permanent move to the south coast club in 2009.
The England international moved to Liverpool for 18 million pounds two years later and is enjoying life at Anfield under manager Brendan Rodgers -- and suggests that the former Swansea boss would never treat players the way Mourinho treated him.
"Mourinho is one of the best in the world and I would never say he's not because of what happened between us," he continued. "But Brendan is different to Jose; he has his own mentality and is definitely one of the best.
"Brendan wouldn't do [what Mourinho did]. He's shown that if you're good enough you're old enough and you'll play in the big games if you deserve to. So in terms of man-management, Brendan is definitely better.
"Some managers like the thought of playing the way Brendan does but haven't got the confidence or knowhow to pull it off.
"Others would probably have panicked and changed their philosophy just to try and win. But Brendan was mentally strong enough and knew we would be a success."
Johnson -- who hopes to sign a new deal at Anfield with his contract finishing this summer -- says the current Liverpool team are similar to the Chelsea side with which he won two Premier League titles, and believes they can win the title this season.
"We believe we can win every game and I remember having that feeling at Chelsea," he said. "The first year we won the title [in 2005] we could be losing 2-0 and still think we would win, and we usually would. That was confidence at its peak and we are moving towards that at Liverpool.
"You have to believe you can win the league and until there are not enough points available we'll keep thinking we can. We've got 10 cup finals, really, because we can't afford to lose games or drop many points because Manchester City and Chelsea won't.
"City are favourites because they could field a second team that would be competitive, and you can't compete with that. So we will need a bit of luck but we are definitely good enough.
"Our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top four and that is still our minimum aim. Finishing third, second or winning the title is a bonus but we are in a good position."