Former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has revealed that moving from Valencia to Camp Nou in 2014 was not what he wanted.
The French defender joinedBarcelona
in 2014 on a four-year deal for a reported fee of €20 million.
Although he won several titles during his spell with the Catalan giants, he never managed to nail down a first-team regular and has now admitted he did not want to move to Barcelona because he knew he would have to "polish the bench".
“I didn't want to go to Barca. When the club asked me, I was captain in Valencia, I was enjoying my life there and I was wondering: am I going to polish the bench in Barcelona?"
"When I received the contract that Barcelona offered me, I drew up a new contract, on which there was a salary of a level between the one I was receiving at that time and the one Barca offered me.
"I showed this fake contract to Valencia's sporting director [Francisco] Rufete, telling him: 'If you give me that, I'll stay.' He replied, 'That shouldn't be a problem.'
"We called together the president who refused. Rufete couldn't believe it. I tore up the paper and said to them: 'So I'm going.' I understood that they weren't counting on me."