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Steven Gerrard: Finding peace and quiet in Hollywood

Steven Gerrard: Finding peace and quiet in Hollywood

Peace and quiet.

Not the response you might expect from Steven Gerrard when the former England captain is quizzed about the perks of life in Los Angeles.

After 18 years and 10 major trophies at hometown club Liverpool, the 35-year-old has swapped the English Premier League for glitz and glamor with L.A. Galaxy in Major League Soccer.

And so far, it is the solitude of life Stateside that has struck him.

"Life off the pitch has been pretty much straight forward," he told CNN.

"Los Angeles is a fantastic city. The weather's good. I go about reasonably unrecognized and I've got peace and quiet out here.

"There's so much to do out here for myself and my family. It's been a smooth transition off the pitch and hopefully this year I can be a success and then I'll go away very, very happy."

Gerrard left Liverpool in May last year having cemented his legendary status.

After joining his hometown club at 17 he quickly became a fans' favorite in a city that loves nothing more than seeing one of its own prosper.

Captain since 2003, Gerrard's crowning glory was a European Champions League victory in 2005, and though he won nine other trophies, a Premier League title will forever be a big gap on his resume.

He came closest in his penultimate season at Anfield, as an 11-match winning run saw Liverpool surge into pole position only for a late slip to see it overtaken by Manchester City.

Gerrard would have stayed at Liverpool had it offered him a player-coach role, but by the time it did he'd already signed terms with the Galaxy.

Hollywood dream

 

Liverpool's loss was the MLS' gain.

Gerrard is now retracing the steps of another ex-England skipper -- the man who many credit with putting North American soccer firmly on the map -- David Beckham.

The Londoner's impact in his five years at the Galaxy after joining from Real Madrid in 2007 was called "invaluable and immeasurable" by the MLS itself.

 

 

Source: CNN

Now, there are fewer question marks over the competition's quality, and less sniping that European players see it as a retirement home that guarantees one last big payday.

"I think if players believe they can come here and put their feet up they're going to be in for a very big shock," Gerrard explained.

"It's a very demanding league. There are very good players here, good teams, good management.

"You only have to look at the average age that has come into the league over the last twelve months -- I think it is around 25 or 26. We've got special talents coming into our dressing room like (Mexican striker) Giovani dos Santos.

"The people who have got that opinion haven't really done their homework on the league."

A bumpy ride

 

Things may have gone smoothly off the pitch but on it, Gerrard's first taste of the MLS has been a little bumpy.

After joining in July, Gerrard helped the Galaxy finished fifth in the Western Conference but it was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, succumbing to Seattle Sounders.

"The football has been challenging and difficult," he said.

"There's quite a bit of travel and different environments as far as humidity, altitude and different surfaces to play on. I've enjoyed the difference from the Premier League.

"A lot of people have an opinion on the MLS but I can only speak volumes of the league. And I'd certainly recommend it if anyone was asking my opinion.

"I've certainly enjoyed my experience so far but hopefully when it comes to an end I have something to look back on and that'll be a championship.

A future in coaching?

 

Gerrard will forever be linked with Liverpool, a return to the club in some capacity seemingly inevitable once he ends his playing career.

During the MLS off-season he returned to Merseyside and trained with the first team squad under new manager Jurgen Klopp.

The exuberant, likeable German has made quite an impact at Liverpool, even if results have been up and down, and he welcomed Gerrard back with open arms.

"I'm a huge fan, I was a big fan at Dortmund and I think we're very lucky to have him at Liverpool," Gerrard said.

"I struck up a bit of a relationship with him. I'm hoping with my fingers crossed that as a Liverpool fan he can get us trophies and bring us some success.

"As far as my coaching, management dreams and aspirations are concerned they're better parked until I retire.

"I'm doing my qualifications at the moment but I don't know if I'll be good enough and I don't know what roles are going come my way in the future."

In between times Gerrard's focus is on a better 2016 season with the Galaxy, as well as soaking up all that life in Hollywood has to offer.

He might miss many things about Liverpool, but surely the wind and rain isn't one of them?

"The weather's good here," he says.

"It helps when you're up in the Cadence of a morning and the sun's shining. You know you can go and have coffee, you can go for meals, you can eat outside an awful lot.

"There's a lot of parks to visit, theme parks. I've been going down to a few L.A. Lakers games. Hikes.

"Whatever you want to do it's available. It's just a super place to live."

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