Julio Baptista has reflected on his career in La Liga and defended Diego Costa’s decision to represent Spain and not Brazil.
The former Sevilla, Real Madrid and Malaga forward has spoken to AS, with reported Madrid target Lucas Silva a major topic of discussion.
But Baptista also recalled his time in Spain, explaining how he adapted to playing outside Brazil and what he misses most about the country.
“I miss my ham, my bread with tomato and my grilled shrimp. Maybe I’ll come back to live in Spain,” he suggested.
“It didn’t take a lot to adapt to Spain because I went to Sevilla and the culture was very easy, the European culture, it was the most like Brazil.
“It’s been a pleasure to come back to Brazil and to be a champion [with Cruzeiro]. It’s difficult and an incredible joy to be a champion. Cruzeiro is a very good team with quality players.
“When you live outside Brazil for so long you just get used to it. I noticed the change in the football. I never thought I’d return to Brazil. I thought I’d retire in Europe.
“I had to leave Malaga and came to Cruzeiro. I made the decision and it didn’t go wrong.
“Football is changing in Brazil, but there are more long balls. In Europe it’s more two touches. Cruzeiro played with few touches and were champions.
“Retirement? I’ve never noticed my age. I will continue for as long as my body says it’s ok. I feel better than ever.”
Baptista, a former Brazil international, was asked about Costa and dismissed the suggestion Costa betrayed his country by picking the colours of La Roja.
“Costa had a few options to go to the World Cup. He got the chance to go with another country and decided. It’s a good decision,” he insisted.
“Everyone thinks he has betrayed Brazil. But he saw it was only a distant option to go to the World Cup with Brazil and he changed.
“It’s hard to judge someone by a decision they believed was correct.”