Altidore - AZ not a step back

American striker has no regrets over Eredivisie move

Last Updated: 22/09/11 12:15pm

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Striker Jozy Altidore insists he has not taken a step backwards by leaving Villarreal and moving to the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar.

The USA international joined the Dutch side in the summer after failing to make an impact in the Primera Liga following his arrival from New York Red Bulls in 2008.

Altidore feels Villarreal and AZ are too different to be compared and is adamant he has not regressed by making the move to Alkmaar.

Asked if he had taken a step back, the 21-year-old told NUSport: "As I see it, I haven't.

"In Alkmaar it is considerably different than at Villarreal. The clubs have different ambitions.

"At AZ the players are trained. In Spain there is no time for that, it's all about performance.

Couldn't adapt

"You play twice each season against Barcelona and Real Madrid and you might qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

"There was no time for me to adapt."

Reflecting further on his Spanish adventure, Altidore added: "I was too young when I was there.

"I had to compete against the likes of established players like Giuseppe Rossi - and he has become even better now.

"I was 18 and had absolutely no idea about European football."

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