Blackburn's 'Galactico' Michel Salgado claims Real was wonderful but only real men play at Rovers

29 November 2010 01:35
Michel Salgado believes there is no bigger game in the world than Barcelona v Real Madrid - but the veteran right back insists real men play in England.

The 35-year-old raised eyebrows by joining Blackburn last year after a decade at the Bernabeu, but he has no regrets about leaving behind La Liga's pass and move style for a bit of Premier League grit.

'England was the birthplace of football - in Spain we say it is the cradle of the game,' Salgado told 'The culture of football in England is fantastic: it is a different style to Spain, where we aim for possession of the ball and skillful football.

Up for it: Michel Salgado loves the physical aspects of the Premier League

'In England it is pure football, physical football, football for men. I'm living a great new experience where we have to battle for every point that we earn.

'(At Real Madrid) I was used to winning a game but knowing that was only part of the aim, with a trophy as the final aim. Here, every point is for surviving.'

After initially seeming to struggle in England, Salgado has started every League game for Blackburn this season and is sure he made the right decision to sign a two-year deal at Ewood Park.

'I have finally got used to playing in Blackburn,' he said. 'I had to change my style and be intelligent, because I couldn't play like I did at Real Madrid.

Galactico: Salgado spent a decade alongside the planet's best, including Ronaldo, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Raul, Esteban Cambiasso and Luis Figo

'I think it has been the perfect move. It is not only about me but it is about the family. We are living in a great place in Manchester with a great school for the children. They are learning English, which I think is very important, and for me it is the same. I'm living a new experience.

'Maybe the worst part is the weather but I am from the north-west of Spain so I am used to the rain!

'If you are going to complain about the football or the weather then you are better off leaving and staying in Spain. I know that it is not Real Madrid here.

'People ask me "after 10 years at Real Madrid, why move to Blackburn?" Well, Blackburn is a historical team in England, they have won the Premier League and they are one of just four clubs to have done so. They are a well-organised team and I see it as a great challenge.'

Idol: Salgado remembers watching Glenn Hoddle in his pomp

Salgado intends to carry on for as long as his legs allow and is tempted by a move to somewhere like Australia, the US or China before hanging up his boots.

He also enjoys dipping his toe into media work, admitting: 'I have been working with Glenn Hoddle, Gordon Strachan, Ruud Gullit and Graeme Souness, people that I watched on TV when I was six years old.

'I remember Glenn Hoddle at the 1982 World Cup, watching him play against Spain, and now I'm sharing a studio with him. It's fantastic for me.' 

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Source: Daily_Mail