A feature report from Gazeta Sporturilor on Contra's move to England
From this season, Atletico is managed by Cesar Ferrando. Contra had thought he would have a better relationship with him than with Manzano, who didn't use Contra after recovering from the bad injury to his right ankle. Ferrando played Contra in 4 InterToto matches before informing him of a new right-back's arrival and that he is not wanted in the squad anymore. He was forced to move. That, Cosmin did. Monday he signed with West Bromwich Albion, 15th placed in the English Premeir League.
- Cosmin, how did you arrive at West Bromwich?
- Basically they came to me. Realising my situation they came in contact with Atletico and negotiated until they came to an agreement: a one year loan with Atletico still paying my salary.
- And you accepted?
- What could I have done? I had three possibilities. Getafe, Mallorca and WBA. The Getafe move fell because the EU documents didn't go through. Mallorca needed a right-back because David Cortez was to join Liverpool, but that move collapsed so I didn't move either. Only England was left as an option. That's life if you are Romanian! If I was an EU player I would have had 20 options!
- Deportivo Alaves?
- Maggots. That option never existed. For two weeks Atletico have been telling me about West Brom but I was still awaiting Mallorca. I would have preferred to remain in Spain.
- So you are going to England.
- I've been there, I saw Birmingham was a nice city, English stadium, nice, good conditions, I passed the medical and Monday evening I signed.
- WBA has only 3 points from 4 games. What is the teams objective?
- Escaping relegation, but I hope for more. They have got better this last while. The Japanese player, Inamoto came, who played for Arsenal and Fulham, Gera is the Hungarian captain (I'm sure they'll get along well
), the Welsh striker Earnshaw I've heard is very good. In total there are 7 internationals.
- Did you count yourself amongst them just then?
- No, I am still an international? I am lucky that the past two years count, because if they only counted the caps from last season I wouldn't have made the 75% allowing me an English work-permit.
- Do you have a message from the national team manager, Iordanescu in that?
- To keep healthy, to wish him luck and to win! Apart from that I have nothing to tell him. I haven't spoke to him since April.
- But what do you have to say to the boys?
- Good luck! To win 6 points in the games against Macedonia and Andorra and to go into the game against the Czech Republic as group leaders with maximum points.
- Will you be there against the Czechs?
- I don't think so. That's how I feel. Even if I am played at West Bromwich I still won't get called. Things are messed up in the national team, and it hurts me. The national team is a wound for me which hurts and hurts bad. But I will cheer on the boys and hope they beat all even without me.