United keeper Ricardo says move to Santander is no step down
Posted: Sunday August 24, 2003 4:11AM; Updated: Sunday August 24, 2003 9:11AM
MADRID, Spain (AP) -- New Racing de Santander goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez said his transfer from Manchester United is not a backward step in his career, media reported Sunday.
Ricardo completed his move to Santander on a season's loan on Saturday. The deal includes an option to make the deal permanent next June.
"It's not a backward step. When I received the offer I was delighted to have the chance to return to Spain. I missed the Spanish league," Ricardo was quoted as saying by the sports daily As on Sunday.
"All I feel is gratitude toward Manchester. The club treated me very well. It was a lovely experience which was well worth it."
Ricardo, 31, is the second goalkeeper to sign for Santander this summer. Israeli international Dudu Aouate arrived last month from Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.
Ricardo failed to gain a regular first-team place at United following his arrival from Valladolid a year ago. His hopes diminished last month when the English champion signed U.S. international Tim Howard from MetroStars.