Fabricio Coloccini has insisted he wants to remain on Tyneside and that he would have only returned to Argentina for ‘personal problems’ and with the blessing of Newcastle.
Coloccini has been at the centre of a month-long saga after informing the Magpies of his wish to depart. Former club San Lorenzo were keen to facilitate a deal for the defender but were unable to generate the required transfer fee.
With Newcastle unwilling to let their club captain walk away for free, deadlock ensued amid reports that the 31-year-old intended to quit football entirely. However on Friday, Alan Pardew confirmed the Argentine would be staying until the end of the season.
Coloccini is now keen to thank the club’s fans that remained supportive during the uncertainty, as well as explain the meaning of an open letter he had written to his former side.
“Every time I go on the pitch I try to say thank you,” he told the Evening Chronicle. “I try to give them my best performance. That’s the way players can say thank you to the fans. In the last few days the newspapers picked up a letter that I wrote. The letter is true but the meaning of it is different once translated from Spanish to English.
“I never said that I would go back to San Lorenzo. I never spoke to any team, the only reason to go back to Argentina would have been personal problems. But they knew I am a supporter of San Lorenzo and the fans were excited because they thought ‘He supports us and this is a big chance to come to San Lorenzo’.
“The rumours were crazy because they thought I was coming back. I would like to say to the supporters of Newcastle United Football Club that I want to stay here and I thank them for supporting me. The last few weeks have been difficult for them, I recognise that.
“This is my work and my job and I have to separate my job and my life.Everybody in life has problems and it is normal, that is life.
“A lot of Newcastle fans stopped me in the street here and said, ‘Colo, thank you for everything and your five years here, but whatever your best choice for your family is we will be happy’. It was really nice to hear that. I spent four years here already and this will be my fifth.
“The club will get 100% from me and the fans recognise that. So to me that is very special and I thank them.
He went on to add: “Some fans may say, ‘I don’t care about your problem you should be here because we need you’. That is also true as well. I can understand that as well. We are in a difficult position and things aren’t the way we expected them to be at the start of the season.
“I can understand people’s point of view. Sometimes people think the player doesn’t care and that the shirt will always be more important than the player. So I can understand. The fans have to be sure that when I go on the pitch that I always try to give a thank you to those who support me and those who give me the opportunity to be here in the Premier League.”
Due to their supportive response Coloccini likened Newcastle supporters to an adopted family after almost five years in the North East.
He added: “I am alone here with my family, we don’t have the grandparents here or uncles and aunties. It does make it difficult. Not for me personally because I come to work everyday, but for my kids and wife. Here, though, the club and the fans are my family at the moment. “The love that they give to me with my song and on the pitch for me is fantastic. It’s the best present they can give me. I have spent more time at this club than anywhere else in my career. This club will always be a big part of my life.”
The former Deportivo La Coruna defender who joined Newcastle in 2008 also took time out to praise manager Alan Pardew, likening his conduct to that of a father.
“Yes, he always is [the man for the job],” Coloccini said. “Every time in the last month or the last year he has been supportive. He knows a lot about me, about football and life. We met a lot of times. He said to me, ‘Listen, I am a person and you have to think like I’m your father’.
“He gave me advice and said, ‘I can speak to you like a manager and a father’. That is very important to me because he gave me a lot of help. “Some fans may have wondered ‘can he still be the captain if his head isn’t right?’ But the manager still had confidence in me to give it. It is extra motivation for me on top of the drive I already have, plus responsibility that I want to take. I will try to put the problems to one side.
“If I look at the situation from a footballer’s point of view, it is perfect. I am the captain, we have good players already and have signed new faces. If I wanted to leave for football reasons, people could call me crazy. Why would I want to go back to Argentina? We have a great team and we are one of the biggest teams in the Premier League. The fans are unbelievable and now we’ve signed a few players who are going to be good for the team. I heard that people think I have a problem with the club. But I have no problem with anybody here – the staff are fantastic. It is just a personal problem.”