Craig Bellamy Reveals The Real Reason Why He Didn't Join Manchester United In 2003
Craig Bellamy has revealed that he couldn't justify a move to Manchester United in 2003 as he struggled with serious injury problems at the time.
The 40-year-old Welshman went on to play at the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool before retiring from football in 2014.
But Bellamy had his battle with knee tendonitis and those problems would essentially scupper a sensational transfer to Old Trafford.
The former Wales international played for Newcastle in the final of the first Premier League Asia Trophy against Chelsea in Malaysia.
However, Bellamy walked away from the clash in agony and felt that he might need to retire at the age of 23.
The ex-Newcastle midfielder told Sky Sports: "We were in Malaysia, Sky covered a tournament in Malaysia. It was us, Newcastle, Chelsea and a Malaysian team. I was struggling with tendonitis at the time in both knees and I remember we played Birmingham, and Chelsea in the final.
More Like ThisMore Like This
"We lost on penalties. After that, I went back to the hotel and did not sleep that night. Couldn't sleep, tossing and turning. I woke up for breakfast. I had breakfast on my own at about six in the morning.
"I sat next to a guy from Hong Kong and we were just having a conversation about football and I just said, 'I want it to be over. I don't want to play anymore. I'm in too much pain.'
"I can't play to the level I want to, when Newcastle have invested in me heavily to play well.
"I didn't feel I could justify it. I didn't feel I was in a position. Manchester United were interested in me as well. They were interested in me that summer, I didn't feel I could go there because I was in no position to compete with the players they had. I just felt tortured.
"God, this wasn't what I expected my football career to be like. I'm in this much pain where I didn't want to sprint. I certainly didn't want to accelerate because it hurt too much.
"Twisting and turning, I didn't want to train hard the day before because it would take it out of me in the game, my knees would be too sore. Having to deal with that was the toughest time during my career.
"Injuries, it was sort of a relief when you had an operation because it was like, 'Now I can do something about it, press the reset button, concentrate on my rehab without the pressure of playing.
"'Being free again, hopefully getting rid of the pain and hopefully doing the rehab right and giving myself the time to recover.'"
Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky Sports
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read