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By ESPN Staff
Apr 12, 2008

Friedel commits future to Rovers over MLS

Blackburn's American goalkeeper Brad Friedel wants to end his career in England rather than return home to play in Major League Soccer as he believes the Barclays Premier League is the best in the world.

The 36-year-old signed a new contract in February which will keep at the club until the summer of 2010 but he hopes he will be able to continue beyond that.

Friedel has an advantage in that his position affords him greater longevity than most outfield players but he admits he has still had to keep himself fit - which includes doing yoga - in order to be able to continue at the highest level.

'I have started to take care of myself as much as possible. I just try to be as good a professional as I can,' he said.

'I just re-signed a contract to take me on for two more years and I'm very confident my body will be able to do that.

'After then we will just take it year by year. I will be 39 at the end of my contract and if I feel like I do now then I will want to carry on - if the club want me to - step by step at that stage.

'I will keep playing football until someone says they don't want me.'

On the prospect of returning to the US to help boost the profile of MLS Friedel added: 'Part of me a while ago would have said yes; now I will probably stay and play with Blackburn for the rest of my career.

'I have opened up a football academy in America so I'm not abandoning the United States. I'm fully committed to helping the development of soccer in the United States.'

Friedel returns to former club Liverpool tomorrow knowing the team realistically have to get something out of the match - and the following week against Manchester United - if they are to maintain their European ambitions.

The ex-Columbus Crew goalkeeper spent three fruitless years at Anfield before moving to Rovers for £1million in November 2000.

He now holds the club record for most Premier League appearances and insists he does not have any hang-ups about his time at Liverpool or his subsequent departure.

'I don't have any regrets. Life is a learning curve and I learned the most I ever have in my football career at Liverpool,' said the boyhood Reds fan.

'My time at Liverpool as a player was not tremendous and the club was in transition.

'You learn more in adverse situations and there were quite a few of them during that time, not only for me as an individual but for the team collectively, for the board, for everyone. It was not the best of times.

'I have found another home at Blackburn but I have a soft spot for Liverpool and I always want them to win - with the exception of when they play Blackburn.

'It is a really good feeling (going back to Anfield) and I get a really good reception.'