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Veron Snubs D.C. United

  • SI.com, Monday, December 17, 2007 3:45 PM
Juan Sebastian Veron's deal with Major League Soccer collapsed over the weekend after the Argentine revealed that he couldn't leave behind his teammates and the club he supported as a boy. The Estudiantes playmaker had agreed to a multiyear contract that would have paid him nearly $4 million per year. D.C. United was so confident the deal would go through that the club scheduled a Wednesday afternoon press conference where he would meet the team and be presented with his jersey.  

"I'm staying because of the fans and my teammates. The truth is that I couldn't say goodbye," Veron told Ole.com. "My teammates' request for me to stay was very important. And I couldn't ignore the fans' affection. It is impossible not to be touched when you are an Estudiantes fan."

Veron started his professional career with Estudiantes in 1994 and it looks like it will end that way, too. His decision to re-sign with the La Plata club -- his contract expired on Saturday -- ends D.C. United's a six-month chase by D.C. United during which the Argentine seemed to change his mind several times. "My teammates told me: 'We fought for a year to play in the Copa Libertadores and we have to stay together'," the 32-year-old Veron said. "It was a lot of money; maybe I would advise a kid to go. But in a situation like mine it is better to live for the things that give you happiness."

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