Roberto Soldado has admitted that he is keen to beat Manchester United for the second time in his career when his Granada side take on the Red Devils in the Europa League this evening.
Soldado would not have too many fond memories from the two years he spent at Tottenham as the striker was not able to live up to his big transfer fee.
However, one of the better days he had with the Lilywhites was his first trip to Old Trafford on New Year’s Day 2014, a game in which Tottenham emerged as 2-1 winners.
Soldado started alongside Emmanuel Adebayor in attack and it was the Togolese who got Tottenham’s opener before Christian Eriksen doubled the lead from close range after some good work down the right by Aaron Lennon.
The Spaniard admitted that he has fond memories of the game and that he did not think he would ever get the opportunity to take on United again.
Thinking back to the 2-1 win, he told The Guardian: “We were playing on the first at midday so I said to my wife: ‘We’ll be going up to Manchester on 31st. Go to Spain, be with the family, don’t stay here on your own.’
“She went and then the manager said we’d travel that morning so we could spend new year with our families.. (puts his head in hands and cracks up).
“I ended up doing a video call, like this one. Me and the family eating grapes on each chime of midnight [as Spanish tradition dictates]. Them in Spain, me on my own in London.
“A disaster. A bit sad, really. (Grins) But it was worth it: the next day we won at Old Trafford.
“If you’d told me I’d next meet them again after so long and in Europe, bloody hell, no way I would have believed it. Now we just have to enjoy it.”
Now 35, Soldado revealed that he thought about retiring from the game last year after his struggles at Fenerbahce but the former Spurs man admitted that he now puts much less pressure on himself and enjoys the game a lot more.
He added: “Before coming to Granada, I wasn’t right mentally. That last year in Turkey I spoke to my wife about retiring.
“Now, I’m enjoying it so much. I appreciate football more. Before I was too competitive, demanding. You need a limit.
“We talked about the pressure I put on myself at Tottenham; if I was there now, I’d handle it differently, calmer. I’m sure I’d perform better.
“With experience, you realise it doesn’t help but back then I would put my ego above the team. Not now. I found a great club with great staff and great teammates.”
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