England full-back Danny Rose said he never realised how much Liverpool fans “dislike” Raheem Sterling until he watched the forward return to Anfield with Manchester City on Sunday.
Rose said it was the first time he “sat back and took note”, as the forward who left Liverpool for City in a £49m move in 2015 was jeered by Reds fans.
Sterling then clashed with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez when the pair reported for England duty on Monday.
He has since been dropped by England.
“It’s probably the first time I have sat back and actually realised and took note of how much the Liverpool fans dislike him,” Rose told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I take that for granted whenever I’m watching Raheem. I think he just gets on with it and maybe it had a part to play in whatever happened.”
Following the incident at England’s base at St George’s Park, the City forward admitted “emotions got the better of me”, while insisting his relationship with Gomez was “good” – something echoed by Tottenham defender Rose.
However, England boss Gareth Southgate opted to leave Sterling, 24, out of Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley.
“We have moved on,” Rose said. “You know the media and everyone will have their fun today and tomorrow.
“But I hope it can be put to bed as soon as possible because obviously Joe is – and I’m not just saying this – one of the nicest people I have come across in football.
“He won’t want this to fester and Raheem won’t want this to fester.”
Both players have since addressed the rest of the squad to apologise for the incident, and Rose said he could sense Sterling’s apology “was from the heart”.
“You could sense that and you could hear that,” added Rose.
“Joe spoke afterwards and we were all proud of what they said. We are just happy that everyone has woken up in a better mood this morning.”
Asked whether it was possible to set aside club rivalries on international duty, Rose insisted it was, saying they were “friendships and relationships forged throughout the years”, and citing his own relationship with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, players formerly at Spurs’ north London rivals Arsenal.
“Obviously I’d like to think that everybody knows if I ever played against them, then my will to win for my team will always override any friendships or relationships, but when I come here for England it is all put to one side,” he said.
England need just a point against Montenegro to qualify for Euro 2020 in their 1,000th match, and manager Gareth Southgate has compared his squad to “a family” in the aftermath of Sterling’s confrontation with Gomez.
“I love all of my players. We are like a family. The important thing is for a family to communicate and work through problems,” said Southgate.