Striker Jonathan Calleri, 27, was introduced this Wednesday afternoon as a reinforcement for São Paulo. The new tricolor 30 shirt thanked the fans for the constant campaign asking for his return since he left the club in 2016.
– I’m very happy to wear the São Paulo shirt again. I want to thank the leaders, all the fans. Five years passed. It was very gratifying to receive messages of affection. They never forgot me. I want to thank them for supporting me every year – said the player.
– I never had the right opportunity to play here again. We talked, but there was never the exact possibility. Honestly, it was the first time I had a right offer and the first time I got it into my head that I wanted to go back. Today, I like to play here. I want to feel like an important player again, and here are all the conditions.
The Argentine stated that he returns, five years later, as a different player.
– They were important goals, which remained on the retina of every fan, but today I am a different player. I have more than 130, 140 matches in Europe. I have 27 years old. I’m not the same player. The features are the same, and I think I can give the team more experience. Before, I made efforts that were not necessary. Today, efforts are more productive. The person gets better as he understands the game better.
– I never settle for what I did. In 2016, the goal average was high, but I could have played and scored many more goals. Today, I’m in a different situation, I’m a different type of player. I didn’t think so much about what I was doing, and now I’m bigger, more experienced.
Calleri did not guarantee his presence in the game against Fluminense, on Sunday, at Morumbi. He pointed out that he hasn’t played for a long time.
– We always want to play. I have to be aware that I haven’t trained in a professional team for four months. It will be when you are physically fine. I have almost a week of constant training, and I hope to keep working to help when I need it.
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Calleri São Paulo — Photo: Disclosure/saopaulofc.net
Calleri was announced by São Paulo on August 30th. After five years in Europe, the Argentine returns to the club on a loan valid until December 31, 2022, with an option to buy at the end of the relationship.
The Argentine belongs to Deportivo Maldonado, from Uruguay, but has played for clubs like West Ham, from England, Las Palmas, Alavés, Espanyol and Osasuña, all from Spain, since leaving São Paulo.
In 2016, even with little time, the Argentine stood out with the São Paulo shirt, with 16 goals scored in 31 matches. The athlete was part of the Libertadores semifinalist team.
This Tuesday, Calleri held the first training session with the full cast. In the previous days, after undergoing medical examinations, he had done activities only with players recovering from injuries and with the Uruguayan defensive midfielder Gabriel, another tricolor reinforcement.
See other responses from Calleri in the interview
– I didn’t play in any big team (in Europe). The last was São Paulo. It is not the same expectation to play for a small team in England or Spain. Here, the team sets out to attack, the attackers have options. I am happy to be back. It was time. It’s a great opportunity for me. I want to give joy to those who like me and change the opinion of those who were not satisfied.
Differences between the current team and the 2016 team
– I believe they are two different teams. In 2016, maybe it wouldn’t be a great team, but it had players that gave another category. Sometimes the functioning wasn’t the best, we lost a lot of games that we shouldn’t lose. Today, I think it’s a younger team, Crespo has given their vision of the game, and the players are adapting. Players have an idea of how the coach wants them to play. The team comes more to the attack, creates many situations, and I hope to be there to score goals, which is what I like the most.
– When I came here last time, I liked shirt 12. I always wore the 27, but it wasn’t possible because at Libertadores I only went up to 25. This time, there weren’t many numbers left. It’s a number that I liked, I felt at the time and I kept this one. But, well, if possible, after December, I will definitely change the number again.
São Paulo’s financial situation
– Money is secondary today, I come here to play and be happy. That’s what I most want, to play again and feel like an important player. This contract does not depend on me, you have to ask the directors, and let them pay me when they have to. It’s a firm contract, quite acceptable, and I’m going to play to show everyone that I can be the player I once was again.
– They gave me references, I saw their previous teams and I think they have a game idea adapted to create many scoring chances for the attackers. São Paulo has the system to get ahead and score a lot of goals. It helps a lot that he was a forward. I imagine their teams will always play for the 9 to score goals. I’ve been talking to him these days, he’s explained to me some things he wants from me, and the truth is, I’m happy. Crespo was a player who scored many goals in his career, he will demand a lot from his attackers. The important thing is that your teams come to the attack and create chances to score. I hope to have those chances.
Argentinian help in adapting
– The most difficult part of the adaptation was the language, but after playing here, reading Brazilian newspapers, you will understand a little more. Today I understand everything, which was the most difficult. Then it’s about meeting my companions, looking for my space, and that comes with time. I will prepare myself physically and with the ball to be prepared as soon as possible.