By Debayan Mukherjee
Kolkata, Jan 3 (IANS) Former Urugauy forward Alvaro Recoba has revealed he wanted to play in the Spanish La Liga and had offers from FC Barcelona during his prime with Italian giants Inter Milan.
Recoba spent 11 seasons with Inter, scoring 53 goals in 175 appearances for the club.
Speaking to IANS in an interview, the 43-year old said he had offers to join Spanish heavyweights Barcelona around 2002-2003 but Inter would not entertain any such talks about him moving elsewhere during those days.
“I had offers from LaLiga, from Barcelona. The club wasn’t the same as it is today, though. It was around 2002, 2003. The Inter president got on very well with the President of Barcelona at the time. They tried to sign me but it was during the days when Inter would automatically reject any offer for me,” Recoba said.
“I also had an offer from Valencia some years later. I think I’d have really liked to play in LaLiga but it just didn’t work out. And I ended up suffering at the hands of Spanish clubs in the Champions League!” said Recoba who turned out for Uruguay 68 times netting 10 goals between 1995 and 2007, participating at the 2002 World Cup and two Copa America tournaments.
Recoba also said, in those days, playing in Spain was a challenge for players who would spend a lot of time on Italian pitches which were slow.
“Today the difference isn’t so great, but years ago Italian pitches were very slow, the ball didn’t move quickly.
“When you went to Spanish stadiums the ball would fly around quickly, the grass was wet… There was a huge difference and it was very difficult for us to play there,” he added.
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