Eidur shunned Real interest
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Eidur Gudjohnsen has revealed he had the chance to join Real Madrid.
Eidur Gudjohnsen has revealed he had the chance to join Real Madrid before signing for Barcelona.
The Iceland international recently completed an £8 million move to Camp Nou from Chelsea and signed a four-year contract with the European champions.
But Gudjohnsen also had the opportunity to link up with Barcelona's fierce Spanish rivals Real, who are looking to rebuild their team.
Gudjohnsen, who was also linked to Manchester United, admits Real were the first club to register an interest, only for Barcelona to decisively enter the equation.
"At Chelsea I was very well," Gudjohnsen told Sport. "Everything was great, fantastic. I leave part of my heart there, but six years is a long time.
"Barcelona was my first option. It presents an enormous challenge.
"The first team that was interested in me this year was Real Madrid.
"The directors of Chelsea spoke to me about the possibility of going to Madrid before Barcelona became an option to contemplate.
"I said no to that (moving to Real Madrid)."
Gudjohnsen's move to Camp Nou provides him with the chance to play alongside Ronaldinho, who is widely regarded as the game's best footballer.
But the 27-year-old is aware the Brazilian is not the only star name in Frank Rijkaard's squad and he is relishing working with his new team-mates, particularly Carles Puyol.
He added: "It is obvious that Ronaldinho is now the best player in the world, everyone says it. It is clear and unquestionable.
"But at Barca, it is not only Ronaldinho. There is a team full of great players - Deco, Eto'o, Puyol, Xavi, Messi.
"I don't know him properly, but Puyol reminds me of John Terry. He represents the spirit of the team.
"He has grown through the younger teams and I believe that I have much to learn from him. He is the captain."