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Galatasaray move too good to pass up for Neill

Lucas Neill has admitted the chance to join Galatasaray last month was far too good to pass up. The 31-year old Australian national team captain signed with the Turkish outfit from Everton in mid-January to team up with Socceroos mate Harry Kewell and to try and win trophies.

But he has also revealed that the chance to work with former Holland star Frank Rijkaard was a major factor in him moving to Istanbul.

"I always had an agreement with the manager at Everton (David Moyes) that if it wasn't working out we would shake hands and wish each other good luck," Neill said.

"When Galatasaray made an approach for me there was a feeling on his part I would want to go so they allowed the clubs to talk.

"Before I knew it there was a fee accepted and the news was then broken to me.

"But because I was in the team at Everton it was a bit of a shock.

"I didn't think there would be any opportunity to make the move.

"It was one of those situations where I was happy where I was but I knew I could be even happier where I was going."

Like with the Australian team, Neill will be able to work with a Dutch tactician at Gala' and was looking forward to playing a similar way to what he is used to under Pim Verbeek with the Socceroos.

"I know the Dutch system and I'm very familiar with the way the Dutch think and work," Neill aded.

"It's great preparation going into a World Cup, playing in a very good team, playing very good football and playing in a system that is very similar to what I will play with Australia.

"I knew I was going to be a key part of the team at Galatasaray because they could only sign a certain amount of foreigners and I knew they were signing me to play every game.

"Galatasaray are always up there fighting for titles and cups and playing in European competition.

"It just seemed perfect."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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