Real Madrid star Federico Valverde explains why he didn’t join Arsenal at 16

Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has explained why he didn’t join Arsenal at the age of 16. The Uruguayan went on trial with the Gunners but admits he never wanted to move to England.

Valverde has established himself as an integral player in Real Madrid’s midfield in recent years. He already has two La Liga titles and a Champions League to his name during his time at the Bernabeu.

But it could have been so different at the beginning of his career. Valverde started in his home country at Penarol where he made an early impression as a teenager.

Arsenal were one of the teams interested in signing him but Valverde claims he was being pushed to go to the Gunners for financial reasons. He told The Players’ Tribune: “If you Google me, you will see stories about how I almost went to Arsenal when I was 16.

Read more… Pochettino faces expensive Chelsea punishment with boss banned vs Newcastle

“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 realize 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. 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?'”

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Don’t miss…
Ange Postecoglou throws gauntlet down to Tottenham star playing for his future[QUOTES]
Mitchell van der Gaag ‘almost died in dugout’ but will manage Man Utd vs Everton[COMMENT]
Man Utd flops Antony and Sancho scorched as Ryan Giggs comment speaks volumes[EXCLUSIVE]

Valverde spent a short period of time at Arsenal but admits life in the UK was not for him at that point in his career. He added: “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.

“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.”

Valverde joined Real in 2017 and has made 221 appearances to date in all competitions. He won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, with his contract recently being extended to 2029.

Source: Read Full Article