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Tough summer - but Vicente is glad to be back at The Amex
Vicente has given the first indication that he could be with the Albion for the long haul.
But he has admitted he went through tough times this summer before returning to resume his current contract with the Seagulls.
The former Spain star re-ignites rivalry with Chelsea, old Champions League foes from his Valencia days, at a sold out Amex today.
He is sure of a warm welcome back from Seagulls fans who thought they might not see him again as he delayed his return to pre-season training.
Now Vicente has told The Argus he was ready to sacrifice his ambitions in English football for the happiness of his family after his partner went through a tough time following the birth of their second child in June.
But he is delighted to be back at The Amex.
The 31-year-old playmaker said: “What I wanted to do was play football.
“My girlfriend had a difficult post-natal period.
“She didn’t really want to return to England with that.
“I want to play in England, and in Brighton, more than anywhere else.
“But if I had to stay in Spain then of course I would continue playing football and have my family close to home.”
Albion always had the player under contract but Vicente’s agent hoped he could negotiate a way out of the player’s current deal which runs until next June.
Although the Seagulls stood firm, boss Gus Poyet admitted at a fans’ forum on Thursday: “There was a possibility of him not coming back."
Vicente told The Argus: “I suppose people will understand.
“It was a difficult situation because I love it here and I wanted to keep playing football here.
“Hopefully we have a good season and I sign for more years here.
“But I have a partner and two children and helping the family is also important.”
Vicente’s family are living near Albion right-back Bruno and his wife and children, who they know well from their days in Valencia.
He added: “We’re in a nice area. There’s not much traffic. It’s quiet.
“I’m looking forward to playing Chelsea.
“I played against them a few times for Valencia.
“They are a big club but for our fans and our club it’s a very nice game to play in a stadium which is looking really good.”
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