Nolito became one of Pep Guardiola's first signings last summer and was tipped to become a pivotal figure in the 'Sky Blues' revolution, but after just one season at the Etihad the Spaniard returned home for Sevilla in La Liga, a division which harbours warmer, more comfortable conditions for him to ply his trade after the winger slated England's 'cold', 'dark' weather, statements which he now claims were a 'joke', despite them being based on an element of 'truth.'
Yes, it's true that Manchester is indeed cooler than what it is in Sevilla in particular, and for some foreign professionals the somewhat drastic change in climate can be all too much to cope with, though once he started to see a difference in his daughter's complexion, perhaps the opportunity to return to Spain's top-flight couldn't have come soon enough.
“She looks like she’s been living in a cave,” he quipped in an interview provided by The Guardian. Though whilst brandishing a smirked expression, Nolito proceeded to add: “It got misinterpreted,”
Continuing from his previous utterance, the 31-year-old proclaimed: “It was just a joke, a throwaway line. And it was true: there was no sun and the paediatrician said: ‘Try this’…
“Maybe there are some people with no sense of humour but no City fan has ever heard me talking down Manchester. It has positive things but it is like that: at 5pm it’s dark and it’s cold, the philosophy of life is different. Why do lots of English come to Marbella? To Gibraltar? Even to my home town, Sanlúcar? They come, drink wine and eat jamón in their socks. They eat de puta madre, they live de puta madre, feel de puta madre.”
Nolito believes that he is finally “feeling like a footballer again” now that he is part of the 'Sevillistas Los Rojiblancos' squad, and though he supposedly enjoyed his yearlong stay on English shores - even with it being riddled with hampering injury woes - the 'insults' he received as a result of his remarks surrounding the British weather ultimately 'hurt' him and his family.
“There’s a bit of everything on God’s earth. But, yeah, we’re people: every player has his story, things going on in his life, which is why I stopped reading things, listening. Comments hurt you and hurt your family. People can say: ‘That’s part of the job.’ Yeah, right, but being insulted isn’t part of the job. One day, I’ll retire and it’s the person who’s left”, he said.