Monday, May 31, 2010

Van Bronckhorst: 'I joined Arsenal to improve'

Veteran Dutch defender Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, who won the 2006 UEFA Champions League with Barcelona has revealed that he was desperate to join the Gunners 9-years ago from Rangers in a deal worth £8.5m in order to fulfil his dream of playing in a club with a big mentality

The 35-year-old, who announced some months ago that he will retire after the forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, has five goals and 97 caps to his name for the Netherlands. His illustrious career spanned nearly two decades during which he played for Waalwijk (1993-94), Feyenoord (1994-98, 2007-10), Rangers (1998-2001), Arsenal (2001-3), and Barcelona (2003-7).

He told the Scottish Sun that he regrets his time with Arsenal despite winning two League titles and two FA Cups, because his participation for the North London outfit during that period was peripheral: "At Rangers I won the Championship twice as well as two cups and if I had renewed my contract then I would have won 20 prizes, but for me as a player that was too easy an option and as a footballer I wouldn't have improved.

"Sometimes in your career you have to have a transfer to sharpen you up, another place, and another League where it's more difficult.

"At Arsenal the higher level of training and matches brought me to a higher level.

"During my time there Arsenal won the League twice plus two FA Cups but it didn't feel as if they were my prizes.

"I had contributed but had a bad feeling because I hadn't played enough matches."

Van Bronckhorst will join the backroom staff at his current club Feyenoord next season after returning from South Africa.