Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos admits he tried to rejoin Real Betis in January and whistles at his former club ‘hurt’ him.
The 22-year-old made just four La Liga starts across last season with Los Blancos but has already equaled that this time around as he is afforded greater prominence.
“In January, sincerely, I thought about leaving here and trying to return to Betis, but it could not be done,” Ceballos told El Chiringuito, as cited by El Mundo Deportivo.
“Also (Zinedine) Zidane, in the context of us still being in three different competitions, told me it was a good time to stay. Zidane was the one who told me to stay.
“Being in the best club in the world and with the Coach's support, I think it was fundamental. I played a little more and that has given me a platform this season.
“My Betis exit? The affected one is the player, who seems to be the bad guy in the movie. Everyone thinks that I went out the back door and it is totally false, because I am Bético and when I go to (the Betis stadium, Benito) Villamarín and they whistle at me, it hurts me.
“I think that over four years I gave everything for the team. I was the third most expensive sale in the history of Betis and I think that they do not recognize that.
“Betis had the opportunity to renew my contract and did not, (former Coach Gustavo) Poyet did not play me, the club waited until the last minute to renew.
“I already had interest from important teams at that point and could not reject it.”