Nolito: I moved to Manchester City to play under Pep Guardiola again

Italy v Spain - EURO 2016 - Round of 16

Nolito chose Manchester City over Barcelona for the chance to work under Pep Guardiola and to play in the first team, the Spanish forward has revealed.

Guardiola signed Nolito from Celta Vigo for £14m in the summer despite Barcelona wanting to take him back. He had previously been coached by Guardiola when he was at the club.

Nolito, who was given his Barcelona debut in the 2010-11 season, said: “The truth is I enjoyed working with him in Barcelona even though it wasn’t much time. It’s a reason for me to come here but not the only one.

“But it was also about City, they have a great team, it’s a great project, they got to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season and the truth is I will try to help this club achieve great things.”

Nolito indicated he expects to be a first-choice player at City. “It’s something I spoke about with my family and my management,” the 29-year-old said.

“I thought it was the best decision for me and my career. I have come to the Premier League to play with City and under Pep Guardiola, who will play me in the first team, and I am very happy with the decision I took.

“I spoke with David [Silva]. He spoke well about City and I had a consultation with my family and my agent and it took me just two days to make the decision. I have had luck to play with [Lionel] Messi a bit but what I want in life is to enjoy my football, play football and be happy. I took the decision. I was fortunate to play in Barcelona, although not much in the first team, and now I am excited about playing at City and I will try to do great things here.”

He added: “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.”

Nolito is happy to operate wherever Guardiola wants him to play. “We haven’t spoken about it,” he said. “I have only been here [China] two days and I will play wherever the manager wants me to play.

“There are two positions that I can play. I am comfortable in either position and I will play in either of them and adapt to whatever the manager wants.

“I can see we have a good team and we can do anything. 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.

“Yes, I think it will be hard. But we have to try to start well and do a good job. It’s a hard league, a very hard league, and there are teams that are near your level. Anyone can beat anyone.”

Nolito added that he is intent on learning a new language to help his integration at City. “Yes, I will learn how to speak English. I will learn how to speak it, but it will take time,” he said.

Powered by article was written by Jamie Jackson in Beijing, for The Guardian on Sunday 24th July 2016 22.30 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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