Saturday 21 April 2018

Ireland legend Richard Dunne reveals he came pretty close to joining the ranks of La Liga

Richard Dunne, . Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Richard Dunne, . Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Tom Rooney

Former Ireland defender Richard Dunne has revealed that he came quite close to saying goodbye to the Premier League and testing the waters in La Liga.

Dunne, who won 80 caps for Ireland and travelled to the 2002 World Cup and the European Championships four years ago, enjoyed a distinguished career in England spanning two decades.

It might feel like so much longer, but Dunne only hung up his international boots in the summer of 2014, before calling time on his club career a year later.

The Tallaght native had spells with Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa and, latterly, QPR.

Speaking to Newstalk, the now Monaco resident explained that he almost put pen to paper with Malaga but the proposed move quickly died on the vine.

"I actually nearly signed for Malaga at one stage but it was a problem with translation or something like that." he said.

"But I ended up being injured for that whole year so that would have been a nice holiday. But looking back, I think maybe (it would have been a good experience to have).

With the benefit of hindsight, the man who gave one of the greatest performances ever seen in an Ireland jersey in an away draw against Russia in 2011, admitted that it was probably best he remained in more familiar surrounds.

“But at the time, I don't know if I would have been brave enough to actually do it so it wasn't something I had to think about really. I was quite happy where I was and I enjoyed the Premier League as a competition more than a European league."

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