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Gabigol on Choosing Flamengo
Feb 10, 2020, 6:49:00 AM

Gabigol on Choosing Flamengo

With his current performance in Brazilian club Flamengo, it’s no surprise that Gabriel Barbosa has found his place.

Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa is now a bonafide player for Brazilian football club Flamengo after his transfer from Inter was successful during the January transfer window. In joining the Brazilian side, he ended his three and a half year contract at Inter. He was originally on loan at Flamengo. During that time, he played in 58 matches across different competitions, scoring 43 goals and collecting 13 assists. He was a key player that led to the club winning the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Copa Libertadores.

According to reports, Inter was paid the amount of €20 million with the player’s sale. He previously joined Inter back in 2016 but failed to make any kind of impact on the team and failed to live up to expectations. ‘From the beginning, the club leaders knew that I wanted to stay at Flamengo. I had no doubts. I think a player should be happy and feel at home and that’s how I feel here’, he said during a press conference of his transfer to Flamengo.

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‘For a player to feel satisfied, he does not need to go to play in Europe, nor does he have to leave his country. We have strong teams and Flamengo are at a very high level. We have a manager, who, in my opinion, is one of the best in the world. I have a five-year contract and I am going to stick to that and maybe stay much longer.’

In a separate interview, Gabigol said that he 'followed his heart', when he signed with Flamengo. This sort of served as him reaping the fruits of his labour after he helped the club win the Copa Libertadores champions as well as the league title. He spent the majority of 2019 as a loanee to Flamengo from Inter Milan. This time, however, he is now a player for the Brazilian club after signing a five-year contract last January 28. Reports state that Inter agreed to a €17 million ($18 million) transfer fee.

‘I missed wearing this shirt. It's a moment of happiness, everyone knows that Flamengo is my home’, said Barbosa in an interview. ‘I'm very happy to be here because I know I followed my heart’. Reports also said that the player turned down offers from football clubs in Europe and Asia so that he could remain playing for the Brazilan club.

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According to the player, he is motivated by the club’s quest to claim more titles and trophies this 2020, including another shot at the FIFA Club World Cup. They reached the finals of the tournament’s previous edition but lost to Liverpool. ‘For a player to feel fulfilled, he doesn't need to play in Europe and leave his country’, said the player. ‘We have a good league. Flamengo play at a very high level and has a coach [Jorge Jesus] who is one of the best in the world. I have a five-year contract with Flamengo, and I intend to respect it and stay here much longer’.

Recently, the club also played their first match of 2020. They came back to win their match 3-1 after Pedro, Gabigol, and Bruno Henrique scored three late goals. It was in this match where Pedro made his debut as a Flamengo player which was a dream come true for him. ‘I’m very happy to have helped my team with a goal. But, of course, the important thing is our collective efforts’, he said.

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Words: Carlos Corpus

Image: PA