Edgar Barreto has revealed he didn’t want to ‘risk anything’ as he decided to leave Sampdoria, but the 35-year-old insisted he's not quitting football.
Last week, the Paraguay international terminated his contract expiring on June 30 with the Blucerchiati by mutual consent.
He left the Marassi after five years and after only having played twice in Serie A this term, the 35-year-old decided it was not worth going back to the dressing room.
“On Friday morning I went to Mugnaini to say goodbye… it seemed like a normal day, a lot of smiles, a few jokes, ‘change and come train’, he told Il Secolo XIX.
“I have terminated the contract. The right conditions for the extension had not been created… then Covid made a mess. The priority for me is to give peace to my family… many details, large or small, led me to this decision.
“I was very sorry to stop like this, let’s say I anticipated it for a month. Without this damned virus, I would have arrived at the end of my contract.”
Sampdoria have been one of the hardest hit teams in Italy and Barreto spoke about the disease affecting his own future at the club.
“I had the flu for a few days, my eyes were heavy and then it stopped. But my biggest fear was to pass it to my family.
“And even now, I would feel like risking anything. Many say that once it has passed, one remains immune. But there are no certainties.
“Even in our dressing room, someone happened to heal and then proved to be positive again.
“Resuming also means going away, travelling, sleeping in a hotel, meeting people. And no matter how many precautions you can take, you never feel safe…”
The 35-year-old claims he is not ready to hang up his boots and would like to remain close to Genoa, but admitted he has started preparing for life after playing.
“I’m not retiring, I won’t quit,” he added. “I am taking a coaching course but if the opportunity arises, if there’s the possibility, I want to play again.
“If anyone thinks I quit because I’m not physically well, they’re wrong. Since the retreat of Ponte di Legno until today, I have trained regularly. I have always been called up, then the coach makes his own decisions.
“But I have never lost my positivity towards the group and I’m not one of those who make a scene when I don’t play. Those who know me, know it very well.
“Every footballer wants to start games, but whether I played or not, the attitude and commitment during the week has always been the same. They have already called me from Holland, my former team Breda.
“Let’s see. It’s also true that my family and I are doing well in Genoa, we have built many ties, many friendships. We would like to live here. Maybe check out something close. I’ll wait and, in the meantime, keep training.
“I took this decision with my wife, Rocio. My son also said his will. You can see that they want to see me play and it will be like this.”
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