Saturday, August 6

Why I rejected Barcelona - Gameiro

Why I rejected Barcelona - Gameiro

New Atletico Madrid signing Kevin Gameiro says he rejected Barcelona because he would not have been a first-team regular at Camp Nou.

The 29-year-old joined Diego Simeone's side from Sevilla on a four-year deal for a reported fee of €32 million last week, having been courted by the Catalan giants.

At his unveiling at the Vicente Calderon, Gameiro insisted that Atletico were always his first choice and he has now gone in to greater detail on his decision.

"It was overwhelmingly a footballing decision," he said to L'Equipe.

"I knew that if I went to Barcelona, I would be the fourth-choice attacker [behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar]. My playing time would have diminished, I think.

"In fact, it was more likely that I would have stayed at Sevilla rather than going to Barcelona.

"Atletico Madrid are offering a very good project, notably with a new stadium in a year. Also, for three or four seasons, the team is not changing much. I was told that it was like a big family."

Gameiro also revealed that he could have earned more money by leaving Spain, but had no plans to do so.

He continued: "My agents made me aware of more attractive offers on a financial level but I wanted to stay in Spain.

"I feel very good here, my family does too and La Liga is one of the best leagues. Only Spanish teams have won the European trophies in the past three years."

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