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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hierro bears no grudges despite hasty exit from Real

Hierro bears no grudges despite hasty exit from Real

July 11, 2003 20:16 IST

Former captain Fernando Hierro is disappointed at the way his 14-year career at Real Madrid was brought to an end, but says he has no ill feelings against the club.

The 35-year-old centre back was discarded together with coach Vicente del Bosque just 24 hours after they led the club to victory in last season's league championship.

"I don't bear any grudges because my view is that Real Madrid is more important than all of us," Hierro told sports daily Marca on Friday.

"I do believe, though, that there could have been a better way of bringing an end to my career at the club."

Real made the surprise decision not to keep the experienced defender after he had refused to lead the team out on a second lap of honour at the Bernabeu following their decisive win against Athletic Bilbao in the final game of the season.

The players were reported to have been unhappy at the way the David Beckham signing had disrupted their preparations for the match and at the treatment of Del Bosque, who was not offered a new contract by the club.

But Hierro said he had no regrets about his role in the player protest. "All I did was tell (Real's sporting director Jorge) Valdano what I thought about the situation and all that had happened in the preceding days.

"I had an agreement with the club (to extend his contract), but they then decided it wasn't convenient for me to stay on and you have to respect that decision."

The former Spanish international said he was now considering his future, but after 14 years at Real it would be difficult for him to continue his career in Spain.

"Wearing the Real Madrid crest has been marvellous," he said. "Real has been my life, my home and my family. I have given everything for the club.

"I don't know where my future now lies. My agent is listening to offers, but I haven't decided on anything yet. The only thing I am sure about is that it will be very difficult for me to continue playing in Spain."

Hierro played over 500 matches for Real and helped the team to three European Cups and six league titles after joining the club from Valladolid in 1989.

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