Kevin Gameiro was one of the most sought after players in Europe last summer, after enjoying three impressive seasons with Sevilla, where he went on to score 68 goals in 141 appearances for the Andalusian side.
Barcelona was one of the many clubs interested in the Frenchman, as their search for backup strikers for Messi, Neymar, and Suarez was no secret. But despite the Catalan giants offering him more wages, and also submitting a higher bid, Gameiro opted to join Atletico Madrid for a reported £32m.
And now, the former Lorient striker has revealed why he turned down Barcelona in favour of a move to the Rojiblancos last summer. Speaking to
“I had the chance of between going to Barca or coming to Atletico. But what am I going to do with Barca? There’s Neymar, (Lionel) Messi and(Luis) Suarez,” Gameiro claimed.
The former PSG striker also said that he didn’t want to struggle for first-team football like Zlatan Ibrahimovic did during his spell at Nou Camp.
“There are players like that who want to play every match, who refuse to come off for even ten minutes at the end. That’s what happened with Ibra,” the striker added.
Ibrahimovic signed a five-year deal with Barca in July 2010, joining the La Liga giants from Inter Milan in a deal worth £57m that included Samuel Eto’o moving the other way. He scored 11 goals in his first 14 games, but his relationship with then-coach Guardiola soon deteriorated.
The Spanish manager preferred Lionel Messi in a central striker position, and Ibrahimovic didn’t like playing second-fiddle to the Argentinian. He played just 29 matches for the club, and was loaned to AC Milan in the following season.
After Gameiro snubbed Barcelona in favour of Atletico, the five-time European Champions paid £25m to sign Paco Alcacer from Valencia, but the 23-year-old has failed to live up to expectations, and has hardly managed to make an impact for Luis Enrique’s side.
Gameiro, who joined Atletico for more game time, has played 1618 minutes and scored 16 goals in all competitions, while Alcacer has played only 830 minutes and scored just 6 times for Barcelona.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam