Monday, 25 July 2016

Nolito: Snubbing Barca for Man City was the best decision for me

Nolito: Snubbing Barca for Man City was the best decision for me
The Spain forward moved to the Etihad Stadium for £13.8 million in June and he says it was a straight decision between the Premier League club and his former employers
Nolito says he snubbed Barcelona in favour of Manchester City and insists it is "the best decision" he could have made.

The Spain forward played for Barca's B team for three years before spending a single season with the senior side, coached at the time by Pep Guardiola, but left for Benfica in search of regular playing time.

He attracted the attentions of the Catalans once again after shining for Celta, with current Barca boss Luis Enrique keen to reuinte with the player he coached in Vigo.

But despite appearing to be on the verge of a return to Camp Nou for the majority of last season, Nolito says it did not take long to make up his mind to move to the Etihad Stadium, and he does not regret it one bit.

"Yes," he replied when asked if it was a straight choice between the two clubs. "It’s something I spoke about with my family and my management.

"I thought it was the best decision for me and my career. I had a consultation with my family and my agent and it took me just two days to make the decision.

"I have come to the Premier League to play with City and under Pep Guardiola, who will play me in the first team and I am very happy with the decision I took."

At the age of 29 Nolito has prioritised regular first-team action, meaning the prospect of competing with Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar only served to count against Barcelona's hopes of luring him back to Camp Nou.

"I have been lucky to play with Messi a bit but what I want in life is to enjoy my football, play football and be happy," he added.

"I made the decision. I was fortunate to play in Barcelona, although not much in the first team, and now I am excited about playing at City and I will try to do great things here."

City expect the lure of new coach Guardiola to help attract new players this summer, and his presence at the Etihad played a part in Nolito's decision.

Guardiola wanted Spaniard to stay with him at Barcelona back in 2011, and the two men have now resumed their working relationship in China, where City will play two International Champions Cup matches against Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.

Nolito, though, says the lure of the sought after coach is not the only thing that attracted him to the Etihad.

"Yes, the truth is I enjoyed working with him in Barcelona even though it wasn’t much time," he continued.

"It’s a reason for me to come here but not the only one. It was also about City, they have a great team, it’s a great project, they got to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season and the truth is I will try to help this club achieve great things."
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