Friday, December 6, 2019

Fekir didn´t hesitate ´for one second´ ahead of surprise Real Betis move

SoccerNews in La Liga 20 Sep 2019

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France international Nabil Fekir insists he never hesitated when joining Real Betis, despite having been linked with bigger clubs.

Fekir, 26, joined Betis in July in a deal that could cost them almost €30million, having established himself as one of Ligue 1’s biggest stars with Lyon.

His move came a year after a transfer to Liverpool reportedly fell through due to concerns over his knee, though he has since accused the Reds of creating that “excuse” in order to not sign him.

Fekir remained at Lyon for a further season and departed in search of a new challenge, becoming the central figure of a new era at Betis, essentially replacing Giovani Lo Celso after his move to Tottenham.

Despite many expressing surprise at Fekir leaving Lyon – who are in the Champions League – for a club not even in the Europa League, he insists he had no doubts about the switch.

Fekir told LaLiga: “I had a meeting with the board or directors and it went well, they explained to me the project they had.

“They wanted to be [near] the top of the table to qualify for Europe next season, I liked that and I did not hesitate one second.

“That [qualifying for Europe] will be complicated, but we are going to give our best. We have to be ambitious and I believe all players here are ambitious and we are all eager to play at the highest level, and the highest level is in Europe. We are going to give our all to achieve that.

“In Lyon I had a lot of freedom too, but I had been there a long time and I needed new challenges. I came here with great ambition and they paid a high amount for me, so I will give my all to show the level that they are expecting from me.”

Fekir is one of six players to play in all of Betis’ first four games of the season, with club icon Joaquin also accomplishing that despite turning 38 in pre-season.

The Betis captain’s larger-than-life personality and penchant for a joke are renowned in Spanish football and Fekir is enjoying his company.

“He is very good, I have no complaints,” the Frenchman said. “He gives us his good humour and it is important to have someone like him on the team that gives his support to everyone.

“He has a good spirit and the mood you always need to have, and in spite of being a 38-year-old, he still has great quality. You can see that on the pitch.”

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