The midfielder Fernandinho was officially presented by Athletico as a reinforcement this Monday. In a press conference with the club’s president, Mario Celso Petraglia, the 37-year-old spoke about returning to the Hurricane. The contract runs until the end of 2024.
In the presentation, Fernandinho made it clear that he is fulfilling a dream to be able to return to Athletico and indicated that he intends to end his career for the club:
– Without a doubt, I am fulfilling a personal wish, a dream to wear the Athletico shirt again. Establish a brand that will end my career playing for just three clubs: two in Europe and one in Brazil.
— Fernandinho, back at Athletico
– Very happy, I thank my family, which has always supported me in this decision. Not only my heart, but all of us ended up speaking louder at that moment. We had numerous proposals, from several different clubs, from Brazil and abroad. But the most sensible decision was to return home and try to deliver my best here at Athletico now – said Fernandinho.
Fernandinho will be available to play for Hurricane from July 18, when the transfer window reopens. He was on vacation with his family, played his last game on June 22 for Manchester City and highlighted that he intends to return to training next week.
– I did a medical evaluation today, I should follow up tomorrow and after. I should train next week, doing a mini pre-season, to be available from the 18th – commented the midfielder. President Mauro Celso Petraglia was the one who led the negotiations directly with Fernandinho since the beginning of May.
O ge anticipated the news that the athlete’s destination would be the Arena da Baixada in early May, when conversations between the player and the president of Athletico began.
– Athletico’s dream is coming true, to return to his home. We kept in touch all these years, since he was sold to Shaktar Donetsk. We follow his spectacular career. He was, without demerit to the others, the athlete who had the most prominence among those who passed here. Kleberson was five-time world champion, but he didn’t have the career that Fernandinho managed to develop – said Petraglia.
– It will help us in this level change that we are working on. Getting Fernandinho in was not easy. He showed from the first moment that his intention was to return to Athletico. But the pressure of the whole world and of several Brazilian clubs, wanting to have him in the group… He remained faithful, the good son to the house makes – completed the president of Athletico.
Fernandinho is presented by Athletico — Photo: Thiago Ribeiro
Fernandinho had been at Manchester City since 2013. He said goodbye to the club with yet another Premier League title – it was his fifth with the team, in addition to nine other achievements.
Revealed at the PSTC base, in Londrina, the midfielder played in Hurricane between 2002 and 2005 and then went to Shaktar Donetsk, from Ukraine, where he played for eight seasons before moving to Manchester City. He also played in two World Cups, in 2014 and 2018, and was champion of the Copa América in 2019.
Since announcing his departure from Manchester City, Fernandinho has refused proposals from other clubs in Brazilian football and also from clubs in the Middle East. He was approached by several clubs in Brazil, Europe and the Arab world. Among the teams are Atlético-MG, Corinthians, Botafogo, Flamengo and Palmeiras. However, the player has always shown a lot of desire to be at Athletico again.
Athletico is interested in continuing to work with Fernandinho for the future, when he feels it is time to end his career, to continue at the club in a position off the pitch.