International Leagues

He won everything in Barcelona but never wanted to play there

The player surprised with his statement

FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona

Former French defender Jérémy Mathieu admitted on Sunday that he never wanted to leave Valencia and sign for Barcelona, but pointed out that he left his old team because he didn't receive a satisfactory counter offer. "I didn't want to go to Barça. When the club called me (in 2014), I was captain in Valencia, I liked my life there and I asked myself: Am I going to warm up the bench in Barcelona?", He said in an interview in the sports newspaper French L'Équipe. 

When he received the Blaugrana contract, he drew up a new one, with a salary halfway between what he had at that time and the one offered by the Catalans. "I showed that fake contract to the Valencia sports director and said: 'If you give me this, I'll stay", he recalled. Francisco Rufete replied that "it shouldn't be a problem", but when they called President Amadeo Salvo together, the latter refused.

Mathieu added that he realized they didn't have him and went to Barça, where he played until 2017, before going to Sporting Lisbon. His most embarrassing sporting moment, according to him, is the goal he scored with Barça in a match against Villarreal on March 20, 2016, which ended in a draw at two. "In a corner, I did not see the ball arrive, which bounced off my chest and entered our goal. Afterwards, all the Spanish journalists crushed me, as if I had done it on purpose," he maintains.

Mathieu emphasizes that Messi, David Silva, Juan Mata or Xavi, who impressed him with their "technical ease and simplicity off the field", have been the best players with whom he has shared a dressing room.

His toughest rival, the Brazilian nationalized Spanish Diego Costa: "He gives you little blows as a 'dog' to get you out of the game. He steps on you, apologizes and does it again right after. Even if you know it, he ends up bothering you, you answer him and you take a card", culminated.

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