On the day Juan Sebastian Veron was to tell his teammates of his plans to leave Estudiantes de la Plata and play for D.C. United he realized he couldn't do it.
Veron had agreed in principal to a multiyear contract with D.C. United that would have paid him close to $4 million annually. United was so confident in the deal that Veron was scheduled to leave Argentina on Tuesday and be in Washington D.C. for a Wednesday afternoon press conferences where he would be presented with his new jersey and meet his new teammates.
It was his old teammates, however, that prevented him from making the move.
"I'm staying because of the fans and my teammates. The truth is that I couldn't say goodbye," Veron told Ole.com. "My teammates' request for me to stay was very important. And I couldn't ignore the fans' affection. It is impossible not to be touched when you are an Estudiantes fan."
Veron started his professional career with Estudiantes in 1994 and helped the team return from relegation to the Argentine premiership soon after. In the end it seems, he couldn't say goodbye to the team he grew up cheering for and the teammates that urged him to stay after his contract was due to expire this weekend.
"My teammates told me: 'We fought for a year to play in the Copa Libertadores and we have to stay together'," he said. "It was a lot of money; maybe I would advise a kid to go. But in a situation like mine it is better to live for the things that give you happiness."