Steven Gerrard has revealed former England team-mate David Beckham was a key factor in his move to LA Galaxy.
Beckham spent five years in Los Angeles and won the MLS cup twice, his second coming in his final match with them in December 2012.
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Gerrard, 35, is set to make his debut in a friendly against Mexican side Club America on Saturday.
“David is a hero of mine, a fantastic guy, a wonderful footballer, certainly someone I leaned on for advice before I decided to come here,” he said.
Gerrard rejected a one-year deal last year, he announced in January that he would be leaving his boyhood club Liverpool at the end of last season and confirmed a move to LA Galaxy. Gerrard said he made his decision to leave Liverpool as early as last November, when he was left on the bench for Liverpool’s Champions League game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Gerrard will wear his familiar number eight shirt at Galaxy, where he will link up again with former Liverpool team-mate Robbie Keane, who has played for the LA side since 2011.
“It was very nice to have Robbie around, he introduced me to the players and he also lent me some factor 50 as well so I didn’t burn,” Gerrard quipped at a news conference. “It felt like I was coming to a new school but thanks to my team-mates for making me feel welcome.
“I had options to stay in the Premier League, options around Europe but I didn’t want to compete against Liverpool.
“I love Liverpool Football Club and I always will do, I’m still a fan to this day but I needed a fresh challenge, I didn’t want to become a squad player for the club that I love.
“It’s all about success, I’ve come here to win, if there is anyone who thinks I came here for a holiday and a last pay cheque they’ll be proved wrong very soon.”
The MLS is a league which is rapidly growing, not only in the number of franchises, but also in popularity. With all of the marquee players joining the MLS, it’s exciting to think about the future of this league. Major League soccer now has many exciting players which is helping to grow the league. In addition to Steven Gerrard, the MLS boasts ex-AC Milan midfielder Kaka, who joined Orlando City last year, American soccer idol Clint Dempsey and New York City’s three Marquee signings; Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo.