'Almost' Chelsea summer signing Tiago talks up another U-turn

Tiago has returned to the Portugal national team after a three-year absence.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Tiago has returned to the Portuguese national side, topping a year full of big decisions for the La Liga winner.

The 33-year-old has been in international exile since 2011 after retiring, but has made a U-turn to help out the side who were beaten by Albania just last month.

It was no coincidence that defeat saw the sacking of Paulo Bento, and Portugal have appointed Fernando Santos as manager, former head coach of Greece.

The fresh start helped Tiago make his decision to return, and it's a choice he is glad he made.

Speaking at a press conference upon joining up with his teammates on Monday, he said, reported MaisFutebol: "I feel joy in playing football and representing my country.

"I regret having sent that fax to renounce my availability for selection previously.

"I feel like a youngster who is here for the first time. It's a return home and I have been welcomed by everyone."

It is another major decision in 2014 for the veteran midfielder, who made the choice to quit Atletico Madrid in the summer with his contract at an end.

Chelsea were strongly linked by Spanish newspaper Marca to have tied up a deal, but no agreement was reached.

Instead Tiago had to make a U-turn and head back to Atletico where he was welcomed back, and signed a new deal, two weeks after the club had begun their pre-season training.

He has made seven appearances for the club this season, scoring once and providing one assist.

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