Fernando Gago has left Valencia, returning to Argentina to sign for his former club Boca Juniors, putting an end to a largely unhappy spell in Spain.
Boca have re-signed the 27-year-old for €1.7 million, a fraction of the €20 million fee they sold him to Real Madrid for in 2006.
“I was just looking for consistency and a bit of rhythm, so that I can improve as a footballer," the midfielder said during his presentation in Buenos Aires.
“I knew that in order to be picked for the national team you need to be playing regularly and I saw the move to Boca as a great opportunity. It ticked every box. Both Boca and I put in a lot of effort to push the deal through.”
Gago left Boca for Real Madrid during the winter transfer window in the 2006-07 campaign. But he struggled to impress at the Santiago Bernabeu and his playing time was limited. The Argentina international was sent on loan to Roma in 2011 before signing for Valencia a year later.
But the midfielder couldn’t forge a regular starting berth at Mestalla either and after making just 13 league appearances he moved back to Argentina, joining Velez Sarsfield on loan for the remainder of last season.
Now back at Boca, the midfielder cannot wait to start playing alongside one of his footballing idols, Juan Roman Riquelme.
“I was a ball boy when he was playing here. Later on we played together at the Olympic Games (in 2008)”, Gago said.
“We all know the type of player he is and it’s going to be amazing to be on the same team as him again, we have the same ideas about how to play. But we’re 11 players and you win playing as a team, you don’t win games with just one or two players.”