Rio de Janeiro, July 18 (IANS) Goalkeeper Diego Alves has revealed that he turned down lucrative offers from other European clubs to play for Brazilian side Flamengo.
The 32-year-old gave his first press conference as a Flamengo player on Monday after ending his impressive six-year spell at Valencia, reports Xinhua news agency.
Flamengo reportedly paid just 300,000 euros ($338,448) for the shot-stopper in a deal that expires at the end of 2020.
“I had opportunities in Europe but when Flamengo began negotiations everything became clear,” Alves said.
“I saw honesty in their proposal and that’s when I decided I wanted to return to Brazil. I wanted to be a part of a big team like Flamengo, to keep improving and to win titles.”
Alves will reportedly earn around 150,000 US dollars a month at his new club, around half his salary at Valencia.
He admitted the prospect of catching the attention of Brazil national coach Tite ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup had influenced his decision.
“I came here thinking about Flamengo but the opportunity to play for Brazil is a reward for playing well,” Alves said.
“I’ll work as hard as I can to be called up.”
Alves made 146 first-team appearances for Valencia after his 2011 move from Almeria.
In 2016, he became the goalkeeper with the most penalty saves (17) in Spain’s top flight, breaking the record previously held by Andoni Zubizarreta.