Vertonghen: "Hardest decision of my life"

WEDNESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2022, 08:43 - lajoya
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INTERVIEWS Jan Vertonghen is currently with the Red Devils and took the time for an extensive interview with VTM and Het Laatste Nieuws, the media partners of the Red Devils. Among other things, he talked about his transfer to Anderlecht. "My transfer literally went in 24 hours from 'I'm staying with Benfica' to signing with Anderlecht," he said.

Anyone who thinks footballers change clubs as easily as they change their underpants is completely wrong about Vertonghen. "Swapping Benfica for Anderlecht was the hardest decision I ever had to make as a footballer and as a human being," Vertonghen says, clearly emotional.

August 31 in the morning, my agent called me with the message that Anderlecht was interested and needed to know something. At first I said 'no' because I wanted to stay at Benfica. At the club, I spoke with the trainer. Without going into details, I got the feeling that at Benfica it was not going to be what I wanted. I couldn't train normally, didn't say a word. With tears in your eyes, so to speak, you stand on the pitch. You see your whole stability (in terms of family and life, ed.) fall away."

In consultation with his wife, Vertonghen then decides to accept Anderlecht's offer. "From then on, everything is on fire. From Anderlecht I had to get on a plane within four hours. I thought, 'this is impossible, I have to tell my children myself that we are leaving'. But they were at surf camp. I then drove there, gathered them around the table and told them the news. That really hurt a lot. That was the hardest decision I've had to make as a soccer player. And as a human being."

A few days after Vertonghen, his wife and three children followed. "They flew on Sept. 5, my little son's birthday. He was crying on the plane because he didn't want to leave Portugal."

Meanwhile, two weeks have passed. "The kids are going to school and we found a house. But because we had not prepared emotionally for a move, it makes a world of difference. Usually people say we make enough money and can't complain, but at times like this, money means nothing. The way we had to leave was really not good. Really not good."

At the time of his transfer, Vertonghen said it already felt very selfish. "It still is. This morning I took my kids to school for the first time. Those then stand there with their backs against the wall. That's not cool."

Source: © Internal source

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