With the Copa America over, Rafael Santos Puri can focus on the next big step in his career: a return to European football at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt.
In an interview with the “ESPN F90” programme, the Barranquilla striker spoke about the difficulties he faced in the past after a short stint in Spain and left a reflection on the dark part of the “European dream”.
In the first action, Puri said his exit from the millionaire’s table was a complicated decision. “It took a lot to make the decision, to see that I am not playing at River, that I will not be there. When you live a lot of beautiful moments in a club, you adapt to Argentina and Buenos Aires, and you suddenly change that way, it costs you,” he said.
He also noted that “I had the option to leave at other times”, but did not accept because “I felt I still wanted to keep competing for important things.” Now, when the Frankfurt Show was known, both Marcelo Gallardo and the managers were key.
“Marcelo doesn’t hold you back, doesn’t force you, doesn’t convince you to stay. His greatest virtue is his honesty with the player. Give your point of view as a coach and as a person, and let everyone make the decision they want…always make sure it’s the player who really makes the decision.”
In this sense, he outlines cases where players receive an offer and due to lack of minutes end up being accepted, despite not planning ahead. In these cases, he explained, Gallardo “can tell you ‘if you work, if you make an effort, here you’ll have more space, you’ll keep competing, but it’s up to you’ and let the player make the decision.”
On the prospects for a “better future”, the 25-year-old said the “European dream is not what they paint” and left an emotional reflection.
“A lot of times you go with the dream that you go to Europe and there everything is different, that you will succeed, that things will get well, that you will learn a lot and go with this delusion. But often, in the world of football, it happens that a sports director, And as a president, and often the coach doesn’t ask you. It’s not just my case. I got to a place where they saw an opportunity to do business and it was done, but it was not in the interest of the whole club. Playing matches, you realize that you were not needed in the team and it starts there. A certain dissatisfaction that the player did not think about. On the other hand, when you find a club, that’s what I was looking for because often it is not about the economic issue, the coach has shown interest, the president is interested, and they are offering you a serious project that I think in it can be Being important, I made the decision to take this step.”
Let’s remember that the former Deportivo Cali was signed in August 2015 by Atlético del ‘Cholo’ Simeone, but until 2016 he was able to play his first (unofficial) match for the ranks. He left on loan to Villarreal and in 2017 ended up at River Plate.
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