Nicholas Canales: I Felt Like Home At Neftchi
Today, Neftchi veteran Nicolas Canales turns 35. The Chilean striker, born in 1985, played for Neftchi in 2012-2013, 2014-2015 and 2016. Canales, the winner and top scorer of the Azerbaijani championship in 2013, lifted the national cup in the same year.
The official website of the club congratulated our veteran football player on behalf of the Neftchi family.
- Nicholas, happy birthday! We know that the pandemic has not passed Chile. How are you?
- Thank you very much, thank you! Yes, unfortunately, the pandemic has hit the whole world, and it is very sad. We have been in quarantine in Chile since April. People cannot work normally and meet their relatives. I think that soon everything will return to normal.
- You have already finished your career and you can look back and evaluate it. Do you think that you can achieve more?
- In general, I had happy moments from the first days to the end of my career. Therefore, I am very happy. I played in the big clubs of Chile and was invited to the national team. I spent 6 years of my 15-year professional career in European clubs, in strong teams of those countries. I could still play for my age, but in the last year of my career I was seriously injured. True, I was able to recover, albeit with difficulty. Then there were offers from several European clubs. But I ended my career because we did not agree financially. I am already engaged in my own business.
- Can you imagine that your career in Azerbaijan will be so successful?
- In general, throughout my career I have always tried and achieved what I wanted. I also tried to be a champion and a bomber in the team of "Neftchi". Fortunately, my teammates were strong players, thanks to which I achieved my goal.
- In general, what did Neftchi give you?
- I felt at home in Neftchi. It is not easy to leave the country and live the life of a legionnaire. However, the process of adaptation in Neftchi passed very quickly. I made new friends. I am pleased with your traditions and delicious food. Neftchi has given me a great name.
- What are the most important matches you played for Neftchi? What was the most important goal?
- The match we played with "Garabagh" at "Tofig Bahramov" stadium was very important. Towards the end of the match, after Wobay's pass, I scored the second goal of our team with a beautiful shot from the edge of the penalty area. As a result, we won and left our main rival 4-5 points behind, thus securing the championship. In addition, the games we played against Inter Milan and the goal I scored at that time were the most important in my career.
- Can you watch Neftchi's games?
- I try to watch some matches via the Internet. I always want to see Neftchi at the top.
- Do you have any plans to become a coach, or have you said goodbye to football forever?
- I have been building my own business for two years. Therefore, it was not difficult for me to leave football. I often bring different products from China to Chile. I still receive invitations, but I haven't played for a year and a half and I can say with confidence that I have said goodbye to football forever.
- You have left a golden mark in the history of "Neftchi" and Azerbaijani football. Of course, you will always be a person who will be remembered by the fans with kind words. What would you like to say to them?
- Love, care and attention are the factors that motivate me. I have received great respect from people and fans both in the streets of Baku and in stadiums. I enjoyed my name in the stands, and my desire to play increased. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to every Neftchi fan for the love and attention shown to me. I am proud of them and send a warm greeting to each of them.