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Sep 5, 2010

Robinho explains City failure

Robinho has said his managers at Manchester City failed to understand him and admits he found the city "an awful place to live".

Despite his fee breaking the British transfer record when he left Real Madrid, Robinho ended a two-year spell at Eastlands on transfer deadline day when he moved to AC Milan, having earlier spent a spell at former club Santos on loan.

However, despite brief glimpses of his quality, Robinho struggled to adapt to England - particularly as he had intended to join Chelsea, with his ex-national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari - and he feels Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini did not get to grips with his mentality.

"Neither Hughes nor Mancini understood me," he told the People newspaper. "Perhaps they only believed in the sporting side of things, but that wasn't enough for me.

"There was a lack of contact between the players and the club. It was much like an office - to training and goodbye, to a match and goodbye. I am Brazilian and I can't offer my best performance if I'm not happy in every aspect of life.

"That was my problem. I am a special footballer and I need to be happy when I'm playing. That was the case at Real Madrid but never at City. Perhaps I should never have left Real Madrid.

"My destination was Chelsea with Luiz Felipe Scolari but, at the last moment, City appeared and I accepted. I did not decide the transfer. Correspondence is always between clubs and I am not responsible for what anyone will pay, but Mark Hughes called me and insisted I joined the club. He was decisive in my move."

His early performances had suggested he may ultimately prove successful in England but, with compatriots Elano and Jo failing to impress Hughes and making permanent and temporary moves away respectively, Robinho says he could not settle into life at the club.

"At the beginning it was positive, but England is a hard country and I had problems adapting," he said. "Having Elano and Jo in the squad was a real bonus. They helped me to adapt but then Elano left I still don't understand the motives behind his exit.

"I do not understand why people said things about us. We all demonstrated our quality in the team, and Elano and I were both then in the Brazil side. Perhaps Hughes did not understand how best to use us both in his squad.

"After that, Mark left and I don't think that Mancini had confidence in me. Going on loan to Santos was the best solution because, if I'd stayed at City, I would not have played in the World Cup. The loan was very successful. I recaptured my love of football, won a title and confirmed my place in the Brazil team. It was an excellent experience and they tried to extend my loan, but City had made up their minds to sell."

Robinho admits he was disappointed that City failed to become title challengers during his time at the club and found the climate in Manchester unbearable.

"When I arrived, the directors at City told me that, in a couple of years, we would overtake United, but the time has passed and nothing has changed," he said. "Manchester is a sensational venue for football but an awful place to live ... the winter, the cold and the dark nights. It's very hard for a young Brazilian.

"The Premier League is one of the best in the world, without a doubt. The stadiums are always full and the atmosphere is incredible, but not every footballer is able to play in England. The character can be difficult for a foreigner.

"The best stadiums are Anfield and Old Trafford because of their histories, and my best memories will be my first goal for City and how happy everyone was with me, and the support City fans gave me during my stay."

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