Aaron Rodgers has revealed that he very nearly lost his cool when he once had the fortune to bump into one of his favourite Premier League legends in a clothing store in Los Angeles.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback was busy browsing the racks when he noticed that Liverpool idol Steven Gerrard was standing mere feet away, at which point the Super Bowl-winning, four-time NFL MVP almost let his nerves get the better of him.
“I’ve followed the Premier League for a long time, so I am aware of the fans the league and the UK has. I’ve been a fan of many, many soccer players that have come over to MLS,” Rodgers told ESPN.
“I had a random encounter with Steven Gerrard when he was playing for the Galaxy. It was one of the rare times in life where I was star-struck.”
“We were just in a shop in Beverly Hills — I was getting an outfit for the ESPYs or something — and I was like ‘Oh my god! Nobody else knows who he is.’ It must be nice for him to be over in the States and have some anonymity because of the fame he has over here.”
Rodgers has declared himself a Liverpool supporter in the past, possibly as a result of his chance brush with the aforementioned Reds legend. However, the 38-year-old NFL star has since revealed he swapped his Premier League allegiance to six-time champions Manchester City after the club sent him some complimentary “swag” a few years ago.
“I was a fan of this other team that plays in the Premier League and specifically one player who ended up coaching in the Premier League after other stops and played for LA Galaxy,” Rodgers said while appearing on the Pat McAfee Show while wearing his City jersey.
“And then Man City started reaching out, sending me a bunch of swag. I said you know what all the players I grew up watching on that other team are gone so I’m going to start pulling for Man City and they haven’t let me down.”
Rodgers was also afforded the chance to get up close and personal with some of the biggest stars in the City squad when Pep Guardiola’s side visited Packers’ home turf for a preseason friendly against Bayern Munich over the summer.
In the first ever soccer match held at Lambeau Field, City ran out 1-0 winners against their Bavarian opponents with new signing Erling Haaland scoring the only goal of the game in front of over 78,000 fans.
“I got to go in the locker room and meeting Haaland and [Kevin] De Bruyne, did some jersey swaps,” Rodgers recalled.
“They have an interesting coaching staff — a lot of Spaniards on that staff who are pretty damn funny. Pep was great, and it was fun just to have an event like that at Lambeau, where every now again we might get some concerts over the years at Lambeau but we don’t get a lot of big time acts in our tiny town, so to have Bayern Munich and City play there was really cool for all of us.”