Jonas Gutierrez has described his move to Newcastle as the ‘best decision of his life’ – revealing how he still talks to former teammates and reflecting on his “love” for the fans and their “unbelievable support”.
During his brilliant chat with Planet Football’s Harry De Cosmo, the Argentinian also claims that former teammate and good friend Jose Enrique was ‘pushed out’ by the club – insisting that the Spanish full-back was keen to stay at St James’ Park.
Firstly, here’s what Jonas had to say about his initial move to Newcastle, revealing how he almost joined Portsmouth before signing for Keegan’s Newcastle United:
“As a young boy, I used to get up early to watch English football, and it was my dream to play for one of those teams.
“I knew Newcastle because of the film “Goal!” with Santiago Munez, and also because of Daniel Cordone and Christian Bassedas, who were playing there and had been at my team in Argentina, Valez Sarsfield.
“I had the opportunity to move to Portsmouth the previous January, but Mallorca didn’t want me to go. It was hard at the time because I loved the Premier League, but then I moved to Newcastle, and after what I did there, I have to say it was the best decision of my life.”
The 35-year-old – who now plays for Argentinian side Defensa y Justicia – then spoke out about Jose Enrique’s exit – insisting that he wanted to stay and was instead ‘pushed out’ by the club:
“I spoke with Jose and the club didn’t give him the contract he wanted.
“He wanted to stay and I think the club pushed him out, they didn’t want him.
“Whenever we speak now, we always remember our time together at Newcastle.”
Gutierrez then talks fondly of former teammates and good friends Ryan Taylor, James Perch and Rob Elliot, saying how he still talks to all three to this day:
“I had a great relationship with Ryan Taylor, James Perch and Rob Elliot, and I was always singing. We made jokes between ourselves…nice jokes, nothing too harsh!
“I still talk with those guys now, so it was great to share those moments with them.
“You have to be positive. To laugh and be happy is one of the best things in life. To make your team-mates laugh improves the atmosphere, and even after a bad result that is important because nobody wants the club to go down.”
Finally, he reflected on his eventual exit after several years at St James’ Park, admitting that it was ‘hard’ to leave a place he ‘loved’ and thanking the fans for their ‘unbelievable’ support over the years:
“I was sad when I left because it was hard to leave a club and a place I love.
“But when I look at my past, I think about the good things, like the fans and their unbelievable messages of support. For that, I can only say thank you.”
Jonas Gutierrez – an adopted Geordie who will always have a special place in the hearts of all Newcastle fans.
A top bloke, a top professional and a true battler – both on and off the football pitch.