Jeremy Mathieu admits he never wanted to join Barcelona.

The defender retired with Sporting CP during the Portuguese season’s suspension.

Mathieu played professional football in various countries for a total of 18 seasons. Barça made their move for the centre back when he was Valencia captain. However, the player himself wasn’t sure if he was ready to make the step up.

“I didn’t want to go to Barça but I left Valencia because of the president,” confessed Mathieu. “I was a little bit scared of going to Barcelona because I didn’t think I was good enough.”

In fact, Mathieu did everything in his power to remain at Valencia, “After the offer, I sent Valencia the contract I wanted from them. I said I’d stay if they agreed to the terms but they said they couldn’t. I left because they wouldn’t pay me €200,000 extra per season.”