Sebastian Coates admits that international teammate Luis Suarez did play a part in persuading him to join Liverpool this summer, but says the temptation to leave his comfort zone and test himself in one of Europe's biggest leagues was too great to resist.
The 20-year-old Uruguayan defender is relishing the challenge that comes with settling into life in a new country, and culture, and having made his Barclays Premier League debut at the weekend, is hungry for more action.
"The biggest attraction was the challenge: to come to an unfamiliar place - a huge club - and make a name for myself," said Coates.
"So far in my career, I have been very lucky; to play for Nacional, to play in the Copa Libertadores, to win the Copa America. There has been a lot of success in a short period of time. But I have achieved that in a place where I am most comfortable.
"Now, I am here, in a different country, in a different league, with different team-mates. The best players are successful wherever they go. I am determined to become an important player here at a historical stage of the club's future."
The capture of Coates can be regarded as somewhat of a transfer coup for Liverpool, as the South American starlet was one of the most sought-after young players in world football when he opted to move to Anfield in August.
And the central defender explained that Suarez's positive words and recommendation had a big influence on his eventual decision.
"He helped me from a professional point of view," Coates added. "I knew about the history; the success and the European Cups, but he also taught me about the nature of the supporters - the way they treat the players.
"When you're wanted by a club that is famous worldwide - by a club with a history like this - it was impossible to go anywhere else."
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