x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Trezeguet ends short UAE spell at Baniyas with Calderon's blessing

Baniyas's new coach says: it was best for everyone that he has now gone.

David Trezeguet has struggled with injury.
David Trezeguet has struggled with injury.

ABU DHABI // David Trezeguet has officially left Baniyas after Gabriel Calderon, the new head coach, decided he did not want to keep an unhappy player.

The Frenchman told the club last month that, despite having played just two games for them since signing in the summer, he did not wish to see out his one-season contract with the club, reportedly worth as much as €1.6 million (Dh7.8m), because of a long-standing thigh injury.

Trezeguet, 34, was asked by Baniyas at the time to rethink his decision, and they felt there was still a chance the 1998 World Cup winner would change his mind and stay for this season at least.

But that was before Calderon was appointed 10 days ago. The Argentine has taken the decision that it would be detrimental to the rest of his squad if the former Juventus striker stayed when he was so determined to leave the UAE.

"David is a good person and I have a lot of respect for him because he was a big player," said the Argentine after last night's 2-2 home draw with Al Ain.

"But I let him go. I told him to go. David did not want to be here and I do not want unhappy players at the club. It was best for everyone that he has gone."

Antonio Caliendo, the Italian football agent who represents Trezeguet, was in Abu Dhabi last week to discuss the termination of his contract.

The player continued to train with the rest of the squad, but they will now carry on the rest of the campaign without the once-prolific frontman, and with no opportunity to replace him with another foreign recruit.

"David did not want to change his mind and we have to respect that," said club spokesman Musaad Al Harthi.

"We wish him every success in the future and it is a shame that this did not work out."

It is now more than likely that Trezeguet will retire after a long and successful career that took him to the very top of football, as part of France's World Cup-winning squad.

He also scored the winning goal two years later against Italy when his country were crowned European Champions.

Trezeguet managed just one Pro League game for Baniyas, a 2-1 home defeat to Al Wasl.

 

ncameron@thenational.ae

 

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