Christian Benteke reveals how a chat with ‘legend’ Wayne Rooney convinced him to swap the Premier League for MLS… as he hails NBA hero LeBron James – the man who inspired his infamous ‘Silencer’ celebration
- Wayne Rooney’s legend status was central to Christian Benteke’s move to MLS
- Benteke may make his DC United debut on August 20 at home to Philadelphia
- The Belgian international also spoke of his affection for LeBron James’ exploits
Christian Benteke has arrived to much fanfare in the nation’s capital after signing for Wayne Rooney’s DC United.
The Belgian looks set to be a cornerstone of Rooney’s revolution for the Eastern Conference’s basement side.
While some onlookers were surprised to see him swap the Premier League for the MLS, Benteke revealed his enthusiasm for the move and why he decided to cross the Atlantic.
‘It’s the manager, of course,’ he said, via DC United. ‘My agent explained there was interest from DC United, and then I had the chance to speak with the gaffer and he convinced me to come here.
Christian Benteke could not turn down the opportunity to sign for the English soccer legend
‘I was really interested in the project, in the way he wants to play and as a legend that he was, it’s always good to be managed by a striker.’
Benteke has a chance to debut for DC August 20 against Philadelphia Union, permitting his visa is approved.
The 31-year-old is looking to hit the ground running.
‘I will give my best to try to settle, to adapt to this league as quick as possible,’ he added.
‘I’m really happy to be a DC United player. Thank you for the love, thank you for welcoming me to the club and making me feel at home already.’
Benteke has channeled LeBron James’ silencer celebration and brought it to the soccer pitch
During the interview, Benteke conveyed his admiration and respect for LeBron James, whose trademark celebration he often mimics.
‘As a player it’s the mindset to take care of his body and to be able to perform for so many years under the pressure and expectation is what inspires me.
‘As a person I don’t know a lot of athletes who build a school! He’s been doing a lot for his community, for the NBA.
I’m not only a LeBron James fan because he is the greatest.’
The big Belgian could feature for the last-placed Eastern Conference club as early as Aug. 20