Australia star Tim Cahill has spoken for the first time since his move to New York Red Bulls, revealing he never considered joining the A-League.
Cahill was introduced as the newest member of the Red Bulls at a news conference.
He said at this point in his career he decided to try Major League Soccer (MLS) because it "would have been a step backwards" to return to Australia's domestic league.
"And that's no disrespect. It is basically I want to still play at a high level," said Cahill.
"There is still a World Cup for me to play in and qualify for the Australian team.
"I didn't speak to any A-League clubs and it was never in my plans."
The 32-year-old Cahill said he is ready to launch a new phase of his career after signing with New York last week.
Cahill, who joins international stars Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, decided to leave English Premier League side Everton, after eight seasons of being the club's most popular player.
Cahill, who comes from Sydney, said he does want to help grow the sport in Australia by becoming more involved at a grass roots level.
The midfielder spent four days in Montreal, Canada as his arrival in New York was delayed, after problems arose in securing a work visa in the United States.
Cahill will make his debut with his new club in an international friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.
"It was nice to know that people here care that much," Cahill said. "It's nice to know that people worked hard to get me here.
"In that respect, waiting for the visa wasn't that bad. It was crazy. I had about six flights here and there, not knowing where I was going. But I'm here now, ready to go.
"I knew in my heart that I could never play for another Premier club," Cahill said.
"I've always been loyal. It's a big move for me. A lot of people may think otherwise, but I'm 32, fit, and ready for a new challenge."
"I spent 15 years in England, playing in the most powerful league and I did so with loyalty.
"It was really special to play there. I found it hard to field offers, other offers, because it would have been hard to play against the club you love.
"I'm going to miss the lads and the fans but I'm not going to miss the weather."
Cahill said he has only visited New York once before but is looking forward to living there with his family.
"It's a glamorous city and a great place to be," Cahill said.
"I am going to watch the NBA, go to Yankee games, see the NFL, things I can do with my kids."
New York leads the MLS Eastern Conference on 38 points.
"It's a great sign for us," Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said.
"I've seen Tim play in Europe for many years with Everton. He's a great striker and midfielder who can go box-to-box. He's also guaranteed to give 100 per cent."
Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Oka Nikolov will end a 19-year association with the Bundesliga club to continue his career in Major League Soccer.