Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Solano Still Thirsty for the Game

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Solano Still Thirsty for the Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

WITH an air of inevitability, Nolberto Solano intends to bring the curtain down on his storied career in the "hotbed" of the North East.

But before he even begins to entertain talk of retiring next summer, the Peruvian midfield maestro has set his sights on re-energising ambitious Hartlepool United.

Signed on a one-year deal by former boss Mick Wadsworth last week, the 36-year-old is a high-profile capture for Pool, who are already laying down foundations for next season.

Ignoring raised eyebrows at his move to Victoria Park, Solano insists there was never any hesitation about moving into the third tier of English football in an attempt to add a final flourish to his career.

While Hartlepool might appear like an odd staging point on a CV that includes time spent in the same side as Diego Maradona, famous Champions League nights and more than 300 Premier League appearances, he has fully invested in a Pool project which will enable him to play regularly.

That, he says, was a major motivation as he enters the twilight of his career.

"I thought about retirement last year," he admits. "But I'm still feeling alright. Maybe when my body tells me and I start moaning about training or playing that is the time. I look at Ryan Giggs though, he is the main motivation for all of us older players.

"I'm sure it will come. Probably this will be my last season - I have to be realistic, it has to finish one way or another but I still feel good, I still feel like I can do it. Of course, everyone dreams of finishing in the Premier League but I took a decision three or four years ago that I wanted to keep playing so I moved around. I always wanted to finish my career in England and for me, whatever division you are in, there is the passion there. League One, Championship, Premier League - it doesn't matter. …

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