Seydou Keita has revealed he quit Valencia for Roma as the Italian club offered the chance to return to the Champions League.
Keita spent only six months at Mestalla after joining the club from Chinese side Dalian, and confirmed he had intended to stay, only to be tempted away by the Serie A runners-up.
“I changed my decision because I wanted to play in Europe and the Champions League,” Marca reports the Mali captain as saying.
“The feelings I experienced in [Europa League] matches against Basel and Sevilla were very strong. It was a sporting decision to play in the Champions League.
“I’ve had the offer from Roma since March. I decided to come here four or five days ago. I had planned to stay at Valencia but the opportunity to play in the Champions League weighed heavily.
“Some people [at Valencia] were angry with me but my decision is only about sport. Money wasn’t the reason.
“I left a lot of money in China to come to Europe and have any chance of winning the League or the Champions League.
“I haven’t got 20 years to say ‘if I don’t play Champions League this year, I can next year.’”
Keita added that he enjoyed his time with Los Che and hopes the supporters look back upon him fondly.
“I played with love, honour and heart,” he said.