Tue, 26 May 2020

Vela: LAFC nixed transfer to Barcelona

Field Level Media
28 Mar 2020, 12:55 GMT+10

Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela said the Major League Soccer club prevented him from joining FC Barcelona in January.

The reigning MLS Most Valuable Player made the comments in an interview with GQ Mexico magazine that was published Friday.

Vela, a 31-year-old Mexican international, said Barcelona offered him a four-month contract in January.

"I accepted it because it was a very good opportunity," Vela told the magazine, in Spanish. "It wasn't saying, 'Oh, I want two years, and if not, I'm not going.' They said four months and I'm (agreeable to that).

"But LAFC did not give me facilities to leave, although it is understandable. In the end, they seek the best for themselves and each for himself. I tried and it did not happen, and nothing happens because I am more than happy here."

Vela has emerged as an MLS superstar in his two-plus years with LAFC.

Arriving on a transfer from Spain's Real Sociedad in 2018, Vela produced 14 goals and 13 assists in 26 games in his first MLS season, earning an All-Star selection and a spot in the league's Best XI.

Last year, Vela exploded for an MLS-record 34 goals in 31 games, and he added 15 assists, which tied for third in the league.

Vela scored two goals in two games for LAFC this season before MLS, like much of the soccer world, was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I don't consider myself superior to anyone (in MLS)," Vela told GQ Mexico. "I just work to show how good I am. I don't know if I'm better or worse than the league, but if I'm here, I want to be the best here, and if I'm somewhere else, (I'll want to be the best) there."

Vela said that he is comfortable with the fact that he is no longer a part of the Mexican national team, even though he was a regular as recently as the 2018 World Cup.

"I am not young for soccer," he told the manager. "Although I am (playing) very well, I have, maximum, five years (left). There are those who have 15 years left. And you have to allow them to try and grow.

"Let the new generations do what I couldn't. It may be that today I am the best, but we are talking about the World Cup being in almost three years. At that time, it is something else."

Vela started his pro career with Arsenal in the English Premier League, and he went on loan spells with three Spanish clubs and West Bromwich Albion in England before landing at Real Sociedad in 2012.

--Field Level Media

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