The former Zenit St Petersburg defender told liverpoolfc.tv: "The manager wanted me to come here which was important for me.
"I found him to be a nice man and Rafa was a big influence on me coming to Liverpool.
"I am looking forward to my first game at Anfield and playing in front of the Liverpool supporters. I can't wait. I have been to Anfield and it is beautiful. I can't wait to see it when it is full of fans."
It may take the new boy 10 days to find match fitness, but with three established centre-backs already at the club, he knows he may have to be patient.
He said: "Obviously I was aware about the competition for places. Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Daniel Agger are players with immense quality.
"I will do my best to get into the team as soon as possible. For any team to have competition in all positions is good and I will work as hard as possible to challenge for a place. Rafa hasn't said too much to me about my place just yet."