Newcastle skipper Fabricio Coloccini has reaffirmed his commitment to the club after agreeing to remain on Tyneside until at least the end of the season.
The 31-year-old Argentina international's future has been the subject of intense speculation ever since it emerged that he had asked to be allowed to return to South America for personal reasons.
However, manager Alan Pardew revealed on Friday that his captain would be staying, and now the defender has spoken for the first time about the matter. Coloccini told the Magpies' official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "The last few weeks, there has been a lot of talk about my future. But I am staying here, and of course I will give 100 per cent like I always do."
He added: "I have been here five years and Newcastle has given me a lot and done a lot for me. I have to be true to the club. I will give 100 per cent. I love football and once I am on the pitch, it is different. The problems I have are outside the pitch.
"But like I say, for me football is my life, I love it. When I am on the pitch, I give everything to win. I give 100 per cent. I did that at Newcastle, Deportivo La Coruna or any club I've played at. The fans have to know and be sure that when I am the field, I give 100 per cent. I am the captain of the team and I take the responsibility."
Coloccini also moved to clear up the contents of an open letter he wrote to Argentinian club San Lorenzo, who had hoped to sign him had he left Newcastle, in which he apparently expressed regret at his failure to be released from his contract at St James' Park.
Pardew claimed on Monday that the meaning of the player's comments had been lost in translation, and the defender insisted that had been the case. He said: "I never said that I would go back to San Lorenzo. I never spoke to any team - the only reason to go back to Argentina would have been personal problems."
Coloccini admitted the personal problems which prompted his request have been difficult to handle, and thanked both the club and its fans for their continuing support.
He said: "Everybody in life has problems and it is normal. I am alone here with my family. We don't have grandparents here or uncles and aunties. It does make it difficult, not for me personally because I come to work everyday, but for my kids and wife.
"Here though, the club and the fans are my family at the moment. The love that they give to me with my song and on the pitch for me is fantastic. It's the best present they can give me."