Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini says he intends to see out his contract at St James’ Park, despite having been desperate to leave the club in January.
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Coloccini, 31, struggled last season with personal problems, so much so that he tried to force the Magpies into selling him to his hometown club San Lorenzo.
However, the Newcastle board refused to allow the move, and the Argentina international was forced to stay on Tyneside.
Coloccini, though, now insists he has overcome his difficulties and is keen to stay at the club until at least 2016, when his current deal expires.
"As you know, I had personal problems," Coloccini told the Guardian ahead of Monday night's match at Manchester City. "I spoke with my family this summer and had to take a decision. I told them I've worked all my life to have my dream of playing at the top level of football. It was a difficult conversation but they could understand that and that's why I'm here now.
"I made my decision in the middle of the holidays. I am here now and I am happy. My relationship with Newcastle was very important in making my decision. All the fans in the street, when they stopped me, they asked me to stay and those things sometimes make the difference.
"Newcastle is a special club for me, of course. I've supported San Lorenzo since I was small but I feel something for Newcastle now. I've been here five years and the fans are amazing. I have a contract for a long time here and hopefully I can see out that contract."
Last week, Coloccini, along with the rest of the Argentina squad, met with Pope Francis -- an avid San Lorenzo supporter.
"I knew Pope Francis was a San Lorenzo fan. He has a season ticket and everything," he said. "You could tell he still really loves San Lorenzo when he spoke with us last week. I shook hands with him. He is always speaking about San Lorenzo and so for me as a fan it was amazing."
Coloccini’s first responsibility of the new Premier League season could be to mark compatriot Sergio Aguero on Monday, and the defender is well aware of the task in hand.
"Sergio's very good," he said. "He's a good man and a fantastic player. I'm good friends with him. How we can stop him is difficult to say because he is a top player and can do what he wants every time. We may have to give him a little kick."