Striker Kevin Gameiro has opened up on his decision to snub Barcelona in favour of a transfer to their La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, pointing to the issues that Manchester United counterpart Zlatan Ibrahimovic encountered during his own disappointing stint at the Nou Camp.
Despite being omitted by Didier Deschamps from France's squad for Euro 2016, Gameiro was a man in high demand last summer after scoring 67 goals in three seasons with Europa League specialists Sevilla. Having been identified as a suitable alternative to Chelsea's Diego Costa, he eventually agreed terms on a four-year contract with Los Colchoneros in a deal rumoured to be worth approximately £28m ($36.1m).
Reigning Spanish champions Barcelona had also been vying for his signature as Luis Enrique sought to further bolster his formidable attacking unit and the 29-year-old later confirmed that he did have the option to move to Catalonia.
However, it appears that an unwillingness to play a bit-part role behind the illustrious 'MSN' trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar was the key reason for that rejection.
"This summer I had to pick between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid," Gameiro told Le10Sport, as relayed by Catalan daily Sport. "What could I have done at Barcelona?"
He added: "There are players who want to play all the games, who don't like just playing 10 minutes at the end. That is what happened with Ibra."
Ibrahimovic netted 21 goals during his maiden season at Barcelona after completing a high-profile switch that also saw Samuel Eto'o head to Inter Milan. However the player quickly joined AC Milan amid a falling out with then Blaugrana boss Pep Guardiola.
Gameiro has scored 16 times in 42 appearances during his first season with Atletico and recently missed a month of action due to tendinitis in the adductor of his left thigh, picked up following France's friendly defeat by Spain in March.
Having netted a brace in Saturday's (29 April) emphatic 5-0 rout of Las Palmas to take his total tally of La Liga goals to 51 and help Atletico move eight points clear of fifth-place Villarreal, the former Strasbourg, Lorient and Paris Saint-Germain frontman will hope to play a key role for Diego Simeone's side on Tuesday night as they make the short trip to the Bernabeu for the first leg of an all-Madrid Champions League semi-final clash with Real.