“I wouldn’t adapt abroad” – Former World Cup Winner discusses why he turned down Arsenal | OneFootball
“I wouldn’t adapt abroad” – Former World Cup Winner discusses why he turned down Arsenal
Former Brazil national team goalkeeper Marcos helped the Seleção win the 2002 FIFA World Cup and soon after had opportunities to play in Europe but decided against it.
In an interview with ESPN Brazil, Marcos, an idol of Palmeiras, revealed the backstage of his “no” to Arsenal FC, who tried to sign him in 2002. The goalkeeper traveled to London and got to know The Gunners’ training grounds.
“I’m from a generation that when you arrived in a big team in Brazil, it was too much. I liked to play for Palmeiras; there was the issue of love involved too. Sometimes it was very bad when we lost; it was very painful, but, when we won, it was double joy,” Marcos said.
“It’s just like having a Ferrari, you know? It’s nice to have a Ferrari in Italy, but having one in Brazil is cooler, right (laughs)? I really liked playing here.”
However, he felt that he would not be happy abroad, so he turned down the interest from Arsenal and returned to Brazil. As a result, Marcos played in Serie B with the Verdão instead of in the Premier League with Arsenal.
“I used to travel with the national team to play some games (outside Brazil), and I knew I wouldn’t adapt abroad. I like bars, these things. I’m not a guy who was born to live in London. I can even visit, hang out for 10, 15 days, but I’m from here,” Marcos said.
The former goalkeeper revealed that many were baffled by his decision to say “no” to Arsenal and unveiled that even the biggest organized Palmeiras fans recommended him to accept the proposal from the English club. In the end, Marcos would end up playing only for the São Paulo-based club for his entire career from 1992 to 2011 when he retired.
“Palmeiras was in Serie B. It’s f*** you kissing a team jersey all your life, saying you love it, and at the first opportunity, you take it and leave,” Marcos said.
“I knew Palmeiras was going to have difficulties that year. I called my father at dawn, and he said: ‘Aren’t you happy here? You earn well here; why are you going out? Do what your heart tells you’. Then I thought: ‘They say that goalkeeper is crazy, right? So if f***, I’ll stay at Palmeiras and play Series B’.”