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Barcelona News: "I turned down Barcelona," Nigerian player explains his decision to shun the Blaugrana

Varun Nair
01 Apr 2019, 19:00 IST

Odin Ighalo moved to the Chinese Super League in 2017.
Odin Ighalo moved to the Chinese Super League in 2017.

What's the Story?

In a recent interview with the BBC, former Watford striker and Nigerian international Odin Ighalo revealed that La Liga giants Barcelona tried to recruit him to the Nou Camp as a backup to Luis Suarez before finally signing Kevin Prince Boateng from Sassuolo.

In Case You Didn't Know

Nigerian international Odin Ighalo had been plying his trade with Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League since moving from Premier League side Watford in 2017. The Nigerian spent two seasons with the club before making his move to Shanghai Shenhua this year.

The Nigerian finished top scorer of Changchun Yatai in both the seasons but failed to steer his side to safety last season despite scoring 21 goals and finishing second in the top scoring chart.

Heart of the Matter

In a recent interview with the BBC, Nigerian International striker Odin Ighalo revealed that he turned down a move to the Nou Camp to continue his career in the Chinese Super League.

My agent spoke to me about a loan interest from Barcelona. The club wanted a striker with La Liga experience and someone who understands Spanish football

The striker then went on to explain why he chose not to move to Barcelona and stay in the Asian continent.

It was meant to be a six-month loan and strictly as a back-up striker. It was nice to hear that Barcelona were interested and any footballer would be more than happy to take it.
But with due respect I had just finished as the second top scorer in China with 21 goals, I deserve better and didn't want to be a short-term player somewhere.
We rejected it, it was an easy decision to make and I chose to stay in China by joining Shanghai Shenhua on a longer contract

Ighalo insisted that he did not regret his decision to snub Barcelona and stay in the Asian league

You need to weigh things up properly in life and ask yourself if it is your call to make, or one to satisfy others," said Ighalo.
I respect my decision. I needed to focus on what is good for my career long-term and when you decide to do something - you stay true to yourself. It wasn't for me and I am happy where I am.
I have no regrets or whatsoever because I am happy at Shanghai Shenhua. To reunite and play under my former Watford coach [Quique Sánchez Flores] is exciting and I love it.

What's next

Shanghai Shenhua will face Beijing Renhe in their next match in the Chinese Super League on Sunday

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