Football

Steven Gerrard reveals reasons for joining Saudi club Al-Ettifaq

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Steven Gerrard said a “family feeling” at Saudi Arabian Pro league club Al-Ettifaq was one of the things that persuaded him to accept a coaching job with the side.

The former England and Liverpool captain signed a three-year contract last week after previously saying he would not be taking up an offer to join the team.

The 43-year-old Gerrard had a change of heart and has become the latest big name to join the Saudi league.

“When I went to Saudi I got a real family feeling. It made me actually feel welcomed,” Gerrard told Al-Ettifaq’s Twitter account on Sunday.

“There are three things I always consider in order — it needs to be right for my family first and foremost. We have to be excited and motivated by the challenge,” he said.

“Secondly I think the football project needs to be ambitious, it needs to be for the right reasons, and then of course you need to feel secure with the contract, but this comes at the very end.”

Gerrard guided Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership title in 10 years in 2021 before leaving for Aston Villa, where he was sacked last October.

Al-Ettifaq finished seventh in the top-tier Saudi Pro League last season.

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