Alessio Cerci has admitted that he "wouldn't have joined" Atletico Madrid if he could turn back time.
The Italian forward played just 11 times for the club in three years, spending time out on loan at AC Milan and Genoa, before signing for Verona earlier this month on a free transfer. And Cerci has revealed that during his spell in the Spanish capital, he “lost so much on a human level."
“The story started badly from the start,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport - via Football Italia. “I arrived in Madrid on September 1 without any preparation because Torino was slow to do a deal.
“I’ve experienced many things, but I don’t want to fuel any controversy. Still, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have joined Atletico. It was a choice that cost me a lot.
“I lost so much on a human level... the affection of so many Torino fans, who loved me and told me that my choice of going to Spain was a mistake.
“I wanted to play in the Champions League. I wanted to step up in my career. I want to get back what I’ve lost in the last few years. I want to start playing again. I haven’t played in a real game for a year and a half. Fortunately, my suffering in the sport has been softened by the birth of my son. He’s six months old.
“Sometimes I still feel pain in my knee, but after two years of almost being a fan, it’s nice to feel pain in my legs in these training sessions.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m not new to this and, of course, I come from a long break, partly because of my injuries, but I’m fine.
“I think if you look back at my career, you’ll see that I’ve shown things, but if you want say I’m a gamble then it’s not a problem for me.”