Chelsea FC legend Frank Lampard is expected to line up against old rival and Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard for the first time in MLS on Sunday, but the former Manchester City midfielder says he could have been an LA Galaxy player.
Lampard decided to finalize his move to New York City FC last season, but spent the season on loan at Manchester City.
Gerrard on the other hand, signed for LA Galaxy after he decided to not renew his contract at his boyhood club, Liverpool FC.
The pair had some memorable battles, especially in the Champions League when Liverpool FC were under Spanish manager Rafael Benitez.
Lampard could have been an LA Galaxy player
LA Galaxy president Chris Klein confirmed the club nearly signed Lampard as their player two years ago.
“It was a couple years ago, and we came close,” he was quoted saying to official MLS website.
“He’s a very good player and a good guy and someone we talked to for a long time. Timing just didn’t work out, I think, on both sides.
“But we’re happy he’s here, happy he’s in the league and playing for New York.”
And Lampard confirmed to BBC that he had an opportunity to sign for LA Galaxy but the timing was wrong.
“I had a couple of opportunities a couple of years ago,” Lampard said.
“They didn’t happen in the end. It wasn’t the right time for me then and New York was coming round and it’s certainly the right time for me now.”
Gerrard, Lampard declare ‘war’
Both, Gerrard and Lampard were key players for many years at club and country,
On their friendly rivalry, Lampard told BBC: “We had many rivalries over the years with Liverpool and Chelsea and it was intense. It will be no different the fact we want to win badly.
“When we step on the pitch we are both winners, both want to win and we’re both bad losers, so that won’t change.”
Gerrard added: “If he plays from the beginning or he comes on, we become enemies. When the game’s over we become friends again.
“It mellows when we’re not competing against each other, of course, but we’re both winners, we’re both professional.
“When that whistle goes and for 90 minutes we’re competing against each other, it’s war. We fight against each other, we always have.
“When the whistle goes to finish there’s a mutual respect there and we’ve always got on off the pitch, regardless of what people say.
“He’s coming into town for three points and I want the three points to stay here, so that’s where the rivalry begins.”