Fabio Coentrão appeared on the front page of Portuguese sports daily Record on Friday after giving an interview after completing a loan move earlier this summer from Real Madrid to Sporting.
The 29-year-old full back said he had moved back to his native Portugal “to play” and that he hoped to enjoy more pitch time in Lisbon than he did last year at Real, where he was one of the least-used players in the squad under Zinedine Zidane.
Coentrão: "Gelson Martins is a player who would fit at Real Madrid"
Coentrão also revealed that his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, who started his career at the Primeira Liga club, had “helped me make my decision to come to Sporting” and said that he felt a teammate at his new club had the ability to move in the opposite direction: “Gelson Martins is a player who would fit at Real Madrid.” The Bernabéu was credited with an interest in the Portugal international when the two sides met in the group stage of last season’s Champions League.
The defender, who was in good form on loan at Monaco before succumbing to a series of hamstring injuries and suffering a fractured foot, also spoke about his fitness ahead of the new season: “I feel a lot better, although I’m still not 100 percent. People who understand football, like [Sporting manager] Jorge Jesús, know perfectly well that a player who has had an injury like mine and has an operation like the one I underwent and after a year having played very few games, needs training and games to get back to my best form.”