Reigning MLS MVP Carlos Vela agreed to join Barcelona early in 2019, but the move was held up by LAFC wanting to keep hold of their star Mexican forward.
Vela’s potential move to the Catalan side was reported back in January 2019 and the 31-year-old was keen to go.
“Barca set up a scenario of [going there for] four months at that time and I accepted it because it was a very good opportunity,” Vela told GQ Mexico magazine. “I wasn’t going to say, ‘Oh, I want two years, and if not, I’m not going.’
“They said four months and I’d have gone for four [months],” he continued. “But LAFC did not make it easy for me to leave, although it is understandable. In the end, they seek the best for themselves and everyone else does too. I tried, it didn’t come off and there’s no problem because I am more than happy here.”
Vela is no longer playing for the Mexican national team despite his dominant performances in MLS and stated he hasn’t particularly enjoyed the off-field aspects of the game.
“I don’t like the soccer industry and yes, I do like to play,” said Vela. “The truth is I’ve been through a lot and you see that this is a job.
“It’s not like for fans, for whom it is a feeling and a passion,” the Cancun native went on. “As a player, seeing what I see and how they treat and handle us, you end up seeing it in that way [as a job].
“You say: Well if I’m fine, perfect, and if not, I have to know what the best for me is and that’s it. I am not a person who loves to watch games and that doesn’t mean I don’t like soccer. I take advantage to do other things in my free time.”
Vela scored twice over the first two games of the 2020 season and was instrumental in helping LAFC overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to advance past Liga MX’s Club Leon in the round of 16 in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Like the rest of MLS, Vela is unable to train with the LAFC squad until at least April 3, with the league suspended until May 10 at a minimum.