The 37-year-old Nacho Novo knocked back the opportunity to join the likes of former Premier League stars Luis Garcia, Elano, David James, Freddie Ljungberg, Italian legend Alessandro del Piero and World Cup winners Robert Pires, David Trezeguet in the Indian Super League.

Thanks to a Belfast-based pal, he has signed a one-year deal with Glentoran which is understood to be worth £1,000 a week – massive in Irish League terms.

“I had been asked last year to go to Atletico Kolkata, which is a sister club of Atletico Madrid,” said Novo.

“I was in talks this year as well, but I want to be close to my family and my child and I think this was the best place for me.”

“I think you need to be training with the players and get to know each other. You need to know your team mates,” he said. “They gave me the chance to sign for this club and I want to give them everything that I have.”

“There is a good history at this club. I never knew as much about history until I met the chairman of the club,” he said with a smile.

“He has been great with me and to come in and see everything around the club I can see that there is a lot of history and I like that kind of thing.

“I am not here just to pass my time or to play out my last two years, I want to be a success and I want to do well,” he said. “I want to win things and I think this is a club that can challenge for all the trophies.

Still hungry to play

“I have a lot of friends in football and when they reach 33 or 34-years-old they are getting tired and they aren’t interested any more. I still have the hunger, I love training and I love just to compete.

“I won’t come here and just live off my name. It is not what I have done before, it is what I do now and I have to work hard and I am the type of person that if I want something I go after it and that is my mentality. Even in training I hate to lose.”
Nacho Novo added.