Steven Gerrard has admitted that he is joining LA Galaxy to win trophies in the MLS, not to end his career in the California sun.
The 34-year-old announced he would be leaving his boyhood club of 26 years last week after his contract expires at the end of the season. Gerrard has won countless pieces of silverware at Anfield since making his debut in 1998, including the Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup twice.
Now committing himself to the most successful club in MLS history, the ex-England skipper believes that he is joining a top side and can add more medals to his already impressive collection.
“Their pursuit of me was very aggressive,” Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.
“The talks I’ve had with them have been very positive.
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"They basically told me what I wanted to hear – they told me about the winning mentality at the club and about their aims and goals for the future.
“It’s perfect timing for this new challenge in my life. I am really excited and looking forward to it.
“I’ll be moving to the most successful team over in the US. I’ve watched a lot of their games and I know some of the players who have been there and sampled it. I’ve heard great things about it.
"I’ll be moving to the most successful team over in the US. I’ve watched a lot of their games and I know some of the players who have been there and sampled it. I’ve heard great things about it."
“Having spoken to manager Bruce Arena and the people above him, I know they want
success and that’s what I want. That’s how I want to finish my career.
“I’dlike to think I’ve got the same attitude as the people who made this signing happen – the manager, CEO and owner. It seems to me like they are winners and that’s how I see myself. I think it’s a match made in heaven.
“There is a huge bonus involved in terms of where the Galaxy are located.
“It will be nice for my family to come out of our comfort zone and try something different.“
"The biggest challenge will be settling in.
I’ve lived in Liverpool all my life. I’m a Scouser through and through. I love my city and I’m proud of my roots.
“But you only get one life and it’s important to try new things and different experiences. It will be nice to give my children a life experience that will hopefully help them develop as
humans as well.“
Success A Must
Gerrard will now link up with ex-team-mate Robbie Keane in Los Angeles, who has won three MLS titles at the club since joining in 2011. The only major trophy that the Anfield talisman has failed to capture at his current club is the Premier League.
He's gone close multiple times with his side finishing runners-up in the top flight in 2002, 2009 and most recently 2014. Although the Champions League was a superb achievement, a league title is something every footballer wants to add to their honours list.
For so long Gerrard was the best player in the Premier League, however he does not have a medal to replicate this.
Although it may not be as sweet as capturing the greatest domestic prize in English football, the MLS Cup is still a challenging title to clinch and would be a massive achievement for Liverpool academy graduate.
One Final Trophy
Before the Reds skipper jets off for LAX airport, there's no doubt he has some unfinished business on Merseyside. 2012 was the last time Gerrard clutched a piece of silverware and thrusted it above his head in celebration, when Liverpool captured the League Cup defeated Cardiff City on penalties.
If the five-time European Cup winners won one last trophy this season, it would put the icing on Gerrard's legendary career at the club. Liverpool still have three chances of ending the season with another prize in the already-overflowing Anfield trophy cabinet.
Brendan Rodgers has guided his outfit into the semi-finals of the League Cup and will face Chelsea later this month to dual of the course of two legs for a spot at Wembley in February.
The FA Cup is also a realistic target. It was hard work, but Rodgers's men battled to a 2-1 victory against League Two side AFC Wimbledon on Monday night and fellow north west side, Bolton Wanderers in the fourth round at home, a fixture you'd expect the Reds to ease through.
The Europa League is also another option. Although Liverpool are in the competition through default for finishing third in Group B of the Champions League, the tournament is competitive this campaign and the victors gain an automatic place in Europe's elite competition next season.