Drake helped sway Jermain Defoe's decision to move to Canada

Rapper DRAKE helped to convince British soccer star JERMAIN DEFOE to leave the English Premier League and join Major League Soccer's Toronto Football Club after sharing his favorite things about the Canadian city.

The Started From the Bottom hitmaker serves as a global ambassador for the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment group, which owns Toronto F.C., and he was recently rumored to have played a part in recruiting his pal Defoe from London's Tottenham Hotspur F.C. for his hometown team.

Drake has now opened up about his involvement in the transfer deal, insisting he simply shared some advice about the city.

The musician tells the Toronto Sun, "I don't know if I had an influence on him coming here (to Canada). I think that all I did was give him the necessary information about a city he didn't know much about. I told him how great it's been to me, and how great I assumed it would be to him. We had a great conversation. We built up a personal relationship.

"I'm excited to see him begin his career here. I just do what I can. (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president Tim Leiweke) is the boss. It's all Tim, really. I was just a piece of the puzzle, I guess."

England striker Defoe was officially unveiled as a Toronto F.C. player during a press conference on Monday morning (13Jan14). His four-year deal with the club will kick off at the end of February (14).

Defoe, 31, isn't the first big name soccer star to leave a top European team for the MLS - David Beckham famously helped to raise the profile of the MLS during his five years at the Los Angeles Galaxy, while Frenchman Thierry Henry left Spanish side Barcelona in 2010 to join the New York Red Bulls.

Meanwhile, Drake's new role landed him the honor of introducing the starting line-up for the Toronto Raptors basketball team, another brand owned by the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment company, on Saturday (11Jan14), as they took on New York's Brooklyn Nets at home. The event was dubbed Drake Night and his presence appeared to be good luck for the Raptors - they went on to win the showdown 96 to 80.

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