Alessio Cerci has spoken about his unhappy spell at Atlético Madrid in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Cerci's Atlético adventure bad from the off
The Italian winger, who has recently signed for Hellas Verona, landed in the Spanish capital on the final day of the 2014 summer transfer window. Los Rojiblancos parted with €15m for his signature, but the winger could not replicate the form he had shown for Torino in Serie A.
“The story started badly right from the beginning. I arrived in Madrid on September 1 without any preparation because Torino were late in doing the operation. A lot of things happened, but I don’t want to feed the controversy,” the 30-year-old said.
Cerci is clear that he would not make the same mistake again, “If I were to go back in time, I wouldn’t go to Atlético. It’s a decision that has cost me dearly. I lost so much on a personal level… the affection of a lot of Torino fans, who loved me and told me that going to Spain was a bad decision. I wanted to play in the Champions League and move up a level in my career.”
The Roma youth product only completed one full match for ‘El Cholo’ Simeone’s team, against Hospitalet in the Copa del Rey in December 2014.
Making up for lost time at Hellas Verona
Cerci is relishing the opportunity to take to the pitch for Verona.
“I want to recover what I’ve lost in the last few years and I want to play. In a year and a half I haven’t played a proper game. After two years as a spectator, almost, it’s nice to feel pain in my legs after training.”
The Italian will play alongside Antonio Cassano at Hellas Verona, after the former-Real Madrid forward reversed his decision to retire from football in bizarre fashion.