Nolito ~ Why I Chose Man City Over Barcelona
Nolito said a big reason for joining Manchester City was to work with Pep Guardiola, despite being sold by the Spanish manager at Barcelona.
City completed the signing of 29-year-old Nolito on a four-year deal after activating his release clause at Celta Vigo, thought to be £13.8million.
Nolito was heavily linked with a return to former club Barcelona, where he played under Guardiola, but elected to move to the Premier League instead.
“I thought it was the best decision for me and my career,” he said. “I have come to the Premier League to play with City under Pep Guardiola, who will play me in the first team and I am very happy with the decision I took.
“I wish Barcelona all the best. I am very proud of Barcelona’s interest, but now I am here and I think I made the best decision to come here.”
While Nolito enjoyed little game time under Guardiola, eventually being sold by the former Barca boss in 2011, Nolito said the opportunity to work with the 45-year-old again was too good to pass up.
“The truth is I enjoyed working with him in Barcelona even though it wasn’t much time,” he said. “It’s a reason for me to come here but not the only one.
“It was also about City — they have a great team, it’s a great project, they got to the semifinals of the Champions League last season and the truth is I will try to help this club achieve great things.”
Nolito, who turns 30 in October, believes City have built a squad capable of challenging for the title in 2016-17.
“I have been here a couple of days, but I can see we have a good team and we can do anything,” the winger added. “Why can’t we win the league?
“It’s a different league, the hardest in the world, and I think we will try to win it. Let’s see what happens. [David] Silva, [Sergio] Aguero — they are players who play near me — they are good players. But they have good players from the goalkeeper to the strikers, they have a great team, we have it all.
“I think that it is one of the best teams in Europe. They have some of the best players and facilities in Europe. I am very happy with what I have seen so far.”