Speaking in an interview with L’Équipe over the weekend, 35-year-old French international and Olympiakos attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena explained why he decided to leave France in the summer of 2017 for Fenerbahce from Lyon.
“I needed to move far away from France, for people to speak less about me, somewhere where I would be uniquely judged on my football. When I had this opportunity at Fenerbahce, I said to myself that this was a good opportunity. People were no longer objective with me, regardless of how I was performing on the pitch. I wanted to start from scratch, in another country, somewhere where I would receive a lot more credit. I think that abroad, there is a lot more.”
“In France, when there is an image of you, I feel like people hold on to that exclusively, just the negatives. When they hear my name, they don’t say: “It is impressive what he is doing at age 35, he came from nothing.” No, they think immediately about the scandal.”
Valbuena has 4 goals and 7 assists with Olympiakos so far.