Javi Moreno has revealed that his biggest career regret was leaving Milan and Serie A after just the one season.
The now-retired striker moved to the Rossoneri for the 2001-02 season, after impressing with Alaves on their run to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final.
Speaking to AS today, the 38-year-old reflected on his adventure abroad, beginning with how it all came about inside a matter of days.
“I remember we played in the UEFA Cup Final on the Wednesday and on the Friday before we had lost 2-1 to Deportivo,” Moreno recalled.
“The next day, we were there training and at the end, on the bus, my agent told me, ‘We’re going to Milan’.
“I had heard rumours but my agent had given me few clues. The next week we faced Barcelona and at the end I met with my agent and Bronzetti [an intermediary of Milan]. My agent told me to call the President [Gonzalo Anton], as we would be in Milan the next day.
“I was dumbstruck. Everything was happening out of the blue. The President gave me permission, I passed the medical exams where they [Milan] tested me from head to toe, I signed the contract and at the end of the season I went on the adventure to Milan.”
However, the Spaniard only spent the single season at San Siro.
“Mainly this was because in front of me in the team there were players of a high level, such as Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Simone… It was very difficult to play.
“Alongside Jose Mari we were taking turns playing under the Coach. Still, I played 28 games and scored nine goals. But I wanted to go out on loan because I needed the minutes to have a chance to go to the 2002 World Cup, something that ultimately did not happen.
“I adapted well, from one country to another, to the different routines, to a different philosophy at the club… I never felt I was wrong in Milan, although it is true that I didn’t adapt to Milan outside of football – going to parties in a suit and tie…
“Over time I think I should never have left Milan, because I think that in the second year I could have done better things.”