5 August 2014 18:09
Mathieu Valbuena chose to leave Marseille for Dinamo Moscow because of a desire to win trophies during the latter stages of his career.
The 29-year-old left for Russia on Saturday after eight years at the Stade Velodrome, having been linked with UEFA Europa League champions Sevilla as well as Premier League clubs West Ham and QPR.
Despite his move to the Russian top flight raising eyebrows, especially after some impressive performances at the World Cup in Brazil, Valbuena clams it is a move he had to make.
Valbuena picked up a number of domestic trophies during his time at Marseille, but is eager to finish his career by earning more silverware and believes Dinamo will give him that opportunity.
“The Russian league is less known but it is at a good level,” he said on Tuesday.
“This is not a choice made by default, I can not wait to start. I find it hard to accept turning 30 and being late in my career but it is a fact.
“We do not know what might happen next, but the important thing is that I flourish.”
Marseille suffered a tumultuous campaign last time out as Elie Baup was sacked midway through the season and replaced by Jose Anigo on an interim basis.
Marcelo Bielsa has since taken the reins, but Valbuena feels it was the right time for him to leave.
“We had to discuss with Bielsa but everything went very quickly,” he added.
“Last year at Marseille was a little complicated. Not really bad but not what I expected. It was time to move on.
“Dinamo showed me a lot of interest. The coach wanted me since 2008 when [Marseille] played against Spartak Moscow.
“The club has a real sporting project. They want to win everything. It pleased me and I want to help them progress. This is a deliberate decision.”