Fede Valverde has revealed why he didn’t move to England in 2016 when Arsenal offered him a contract.
Federico Valverde of Real Madrid has detailed why he turned down a move to Arsenal in 2016. The Uruguayan midfielder has declared that he would never want to play in the Premier League.
Valverde recently stated that he was on the verge of a move to the Emirates in 2016, but instead chose to join Los Blancos from Penarol in Uruguay. The 25-year-old midfielder’s choice appears to have paid off, as he has earned a regular berth in Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI and has enjoyed significant success at the club.
Valverde discussed his unsuccessful relocation to north London in his column for The Players’ Tribune. He said (via Metro):
“If you Google me, you will see stories about how I almost went to Arsenal when I was 16. That’s maybe half-true. It’s nothing against Arsenal, but I never wanted to go to England. At that time, the business side of football took over.”
“Certain people were telling me, ‘Who wouldn’t want to go play for Arsenal? You want to stay here in Uruguay? That’s crazy!’. What they were really saying under their breath was, ‘We can all make a lot of money if you go’.”
“You realise that your life is not your own in football. Especially at a young age, you feel more like a hostage. Even your family becomes a hostage. Football is an escape to a better life, especially for us in South America, and the vultures know that.”
Valverde has 19 goals and 18 assists in 221 appearances for Real Madrid in all competitions, helping the team win the UEFA Champions League, two La Liga titles, two FIFA team World Cups, and more.
How Did He End Up At Real Madrid?
Valverde also revealed that those around him were pleading with him to join Arsenal. The Uruguay international said that he even went to the Emirates for a week-long tryout, saying:
“They put the pressure on you in a “nice” way. “Damn, Fede, if you go to Arsenal, you’ll have a nice bed and a shower that stays warm for 30, 40 minutes! Who wouldn’t want that life?”. They sent me on trial to London for a week, and I just wasn’t comfortable. If you only think of material things, it sounds great. But we are not robots.”
However, Valverde stated that if he had selected Arsenal, a transfer to London would not have been the ideal option for his family, who would be going to a strange nation without understanding the language. Real Madrid’s star went on to say:
“The reality was that my family couldn’t come to London with me. I’d have to live alone, not speaking the language, at 16-years-old. For every one kid who succeeds in moving overseas, you don’t see the 100 who fail.”
The Gunners are now third in the Premier League table, having won eight games, drawn three, and lost one this season. Meanwhile, Real Madrid sits second in the Spanish league, two points behind league leaders Girona.