Ex-Liverpool star Garcia arrives in Australia for A-League stint
Former Liverpool winger Luis Garcia says he hopes to make his A-League debut for Central Coast Mariners this weekend, despite only arriving in Australia on Thursday.
Central Coast host 2014 Asian champions Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday, which means that the 37-year-old Spaniard could have only one full training session with his new teammates ahead of the Round 16 match.
But Garcia, who last played professionally in 2014, said he was ready to go, if needed.
"Yes, it depends on the coach, he is the one who decides but if the coach thinks I'm ready to play, I'll be able to," Garcia said.
"Let me check on the weekend how I feel. But I come here to try do my best but the coach is the one who is going to decide how many minutes on the pitch I need."
Garcia joins a struggling team who are bottom of the A-League table with only two victories in their first 15 games this season, scoring just 19 goals.
While hoping to make a difference, the former Champions League and FA Cup winner asked fans not to expect too much.
"I don't think I can lift them up," he said. "I think I can help them to do something good in the team. All together I think we can do something well.
"It's a very competitive league and I'll try to adapt as well as I can. "I feel good. I have to not be too crazy and think I'm 25."
Garcia could potentially link up with Central Coast's Portuguese attacker Fabio Ferreira, who was signed at Chelsea by Jose Mourinho as a teenager in 2005 without making a first team appearance at Stamford Bridge before moving to Oldham on loan.
A big crowd is expected for Saturday's home game against second placed Western Sydney, with Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium planning a Luis Garcia bay for Liverpool fans.
Earlier this month, Garcia was the star player for Liverpool Legends as they defeated the Socceroos Legends 4-0 in front of more than 40,000 fans in Sydney.
"They showed their response two weeks ago... there is a huge, massive fan-base here in Australia for Liverpool," Garcia said.
"I'm honoured. Every time I've been here they treat us very well and hopefully we can bring along more [Liverpool fans] to watch the games and of course our fans are very happy."
Garcia played 122 games in all competitions for Liverpool between 2004-07, and also wore the colours of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga. He made 20 appearances for Spain, scoring four goals and playing in the 2006 World Cup.