Gabigol admits mistakes in Europe, eyes Brazil recall
Tuesday 30th of January
SANTOS, Jan. 30(Xinhua) -- Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa has admitted that he made mistakes during disappointing spells with Inter Milan and Benfica as he attempts to kickstart his career at his former club Santos.
Barbosa, nicknamed Gabigol, faced the media on Monday for the first time since securing a 12-month loan with the Brazilian club last week.
"My time in Europe didn't pan out as I'd hoped," Gabigol said. "I didn't have a lot of chances. Every player wants to play and be happy on and off the pitch. I always gave my all, like I did at Santos.
"There were times when I overstepped the mark with my behaviour and I realize I was wrong. But I always trained hard to earn a place in the team. Unfortunately that wasn't possible. That's why I decided that it was time to come back to Santos."
Gabigol was considered one of football's brightest talents when Inter Milan signed him from Santos in August 2016 for 28 million euros.
But he failed to impress at the San Siro, scoring just once in 10 matches before being loaned out to Benfica.
He fared later better with the Portuguese side, making just four appearances without scoring a goal.
His period in Europe is perhaps best remembered for the time he stormed off Inter Milan's bench and disappeared into the dressing room during a Serie A match against Lazio, angry at being an unused substitute.
"That's something you can't do," said a repentant Gabigol. "I apologized the next day. I know that I made mistakes and I assumed responsibility for them. We are all human and we all make mistakes. The best thing you can do is say sorry when you know you're in the wrong."
Gabigol is expected to return for Santos in their Sao Paulo state league match against Palmeiras on Sunday.
He is eager to make an early impression as he targets a place in Brazil's squad for this year's World Cup in Russia.
"My decision to come back has a lot to do with the national team," said Gabigol, who has scored two goals in four matches for Brazil's senior national team.
"I want to help Santos first of all and the Selecao would be a result of my hard work," he added.