Lucas Moura: Why I turned down Manchester United – but I’d love to play in the Premier League one day

lucas moura

EXCLUSIVE

Lucas Moura has explained why he chose to sign for Paris Saint-Germain over Manchester United in 2012 but has left the door open for a future move to English football saying that it is a dream for any footballer to play in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old Brazil international has become a key player for the Parisians and has won three Ligue 1 titles, the Coupe de la Ligue twice and the Coupe de France once over the past three years and is one of the top performers in Laurent Blanc’s team this season.

However, it could have all been very different for the winger who has completed 62% of his dribbles in the French top flight this campaign. “I was very [close] to coming to Manchester United before I signed for PSG,” he told Squawka.

“It was honestly my choice to join PSG. I have all respect for Manchester United, a great club with more tradition than Paris Saint-Germain, but I really liked the project PSG showed me.”

The make-up of the dressing room at the Parc des Princes was also a deciding factor when picking between the clubs. Lucas won his first senior cap for Brazil in 2011 and the large contingent of other national team players that had already been assembled in Paris was an obvious attraction.

“There are several Brazilians in the PSG squad which made a difference in my decision too. You know, I was quite young and it does make a difference to have some compatriots beside you. It helped me to settle down in Europe.”

Since crossing the Atlantic in January 2013 to complete his move in person — the deal to take him to PSG was agreed in the summer of 2012 but he didn’t leave Sao Paulo until the end of the Brazilian league season at the end of the year — he has made 141 appearances for the Parisians in all competitions.

This season, Lucas has featured in all but two of PSG’s league fixtures and in five of their six Champions League group stage matches and has been a consistent threat to defences in France and in Europe, but could he see himself one day taking his tricks and skills to the Premier League?

“It’s a dream for any player having the opportunity to play in the Premier League,” said the Brazilian. “Everybody knows it is the most competitive league in the world. It’s really great to follow it, as you can’t predict who is going to win the trophy.

“You don’t see this happening in any other place with five or six teams having a real chance of being champions. Maybe one day I’ll have the privilege of playing there, but now I’m totally focused on PSG with many goals to achieve yet.”

One of those goals will be winning the club’s first ever Champions League title. However, even with Chelsea next up to face the Ligue 1 leaders in the Round of 16, Lucas is a neutral as far as the Premier League is concerned and is enjoying watching the most unpredictable Premier League title race in years as a fan without any favourites.

“I’ve never had a club in England that I liked to follow most. If I can watch a game of the Premier League, I’ll do it regardless which clubs are on the pitch. Of course, it’s easier to watch matches from the big teams, but there’s no special club for me in England.”

Lucas Moura has scored five goals in the league this season. 

Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson

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