Tearful Diego Godin confirms Atletico Madrid exit after snubbing Man Utd interest for Inter Milan switch

The Uruguayan has explained why he turned down a move to Old Trafford a year ago as he ends a nine-year spell in Madrid the sun
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DIEGO GODIN tearfully confirmed he is leaving Atletico Madrid for Inter Milan today – a year after rejecting Manchester United.

Speaking at a specially arranged press conference, the defender was visibly emotional at bidding farewell to his home for the past nine years.

Jose Mourinho had tried to tempt him to England last summer but was turned down, only for Godin to agree to sign for Inter on a three-year deal when his Atletico contract expires in June.

The defender told the press conference: “I refused the United offer one year ago because I decided to stay at Atletico.

“I decided to stay, it was my decision, I don’t regret it, otherwise I would not have lived the beautiful moments of this year.

“We had met many times, it would be hypocritical to deny it, but no agreement was reached.”

Godin leaves Atleti with eight winners’ medals

Atletico coach Diego Simeone, club president Enrique Cerezo and Godin’s family all attended his farewell statement.

The Uruguay international thanked them for contributing to his highly successful stay, with a LaLiga title and two Champions League final appearances his crowning achievements.

He stated: “I’m very nervous, more so than in a game. I want to thank everyone; colleagues, physios, coaches, legends, presidents and my family who are here.

“I mention them because these are my last days with Atletico.

“I wanted to speak because of the love that I have for this shirt, my respect to the fans, because I’m now a fan.

“This isn’t a club, it has been my family, my home, my way of life. I am here to show my thanks for this, I never imagined that this moment would come.”

Tributes poured in to recognise Godin’s time in Madrid, with Gerard Pique praising his impact on La Liga as a whole.

The Barcelona defender tweeted: “Huge respect for one of the defenders of his generation.

“Good luck in the future. Here in LaLiga, you’ll be missed.”

Godin admitted that he required a fresh challenge after over a decade in LaLiga, initially with Villarreal, and heads to Serie A an Atletico icon.

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