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Ex-Mag forced to retire at the age of 31 – “The Toon Army is fantastic….I didn’t want to return”

Former Newcastle United defender Davide Santon has discussed his ‘extraordinary’ time on Tyneside after being forced to retire at the age of 31 today, insisting he never wanted to leave the club.

The left-back made 94 appearances for Newcastle over four years before he eventually returned to Inter for a fee of around £4m and then joining AS Roma in 2018.

However, due to significant injury issues with his knee that have kept him out for periods throughout his career, the Italian has been forced into an early retirement just months after his contract at Roma expired.

Santon was signed for Newcastle back in 2011 and was an important member of the team that finished fifth and made it to the Europa League quarter final the following season.

Upon signing for the Magpies, the former Italy international admitted he ‘almost didn’t want to’ but has since grown to love the club and its supporters, claiming they are ‘fantastic’, and revealed that, when in England, will often visit St James’ Park.

On his time at Newcastle, Santon said:

“I went there. I almost didn’t want to, but once I was there, I didn’t want to return. Then the offer from Inter arrived, and I came back, but I had a great time in England.

“The environment around you, to play, is the best ever. Every time I go to England, when I can, I go to the stadium to see it. The Toon Army is fantastic, when we played there, there was an extraordinary serenity.

“When we were playing at home: lunch was optional. The meeting at the stadium was at 1.15pm for the match at 3pm.

It was an environment that gave me peace of mind and it was the period where I was physically better.”

On his career-ending injury, Santon then had this to say:

“I have my left knee where I didn’t have an operation, but it went. It prevents me from many things. And then there’s the famous right knee, operated on three times.

Cartilage, removed all the external meniscus, but as soon as I do minimum exertion, it swells and…

Source link : https://www.nufcblog.co.uk/2022/09/09/ex-mag-forced-into-early-retirement-at-the-age-of-31-the-toon-army-is-fantastic/

Author : Andrew Reynolds

Publish date : 2022-09-09 18:00:00

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