Coloccini loving Toon life

Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini insists he has never considered leaving St James’ Park, even when the Magpies were relegated.

The Argentine defender arrived on Tyneside in August 2008 and suffered the heartache of slipping into the Championship during his first season.

Many expected him to be among those offloaded by the Magpies as they attempted to cut costs ahead of an unwelcome spell in the second tier.

Coloccini stayed put, though, and helped the North East outfit to bounce back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He claims that he was always happy to stick with the Magpies and believes he is a better player now for the experiences he has taken in during his time in England.

"I suppose some people may be surprised to see me still here," Coloccini told The Sun.

"After all, it was very difficult playing in the Championship. To go down with a big club like Newcastle was tough. It wasn’t normal.

"So it just felt right that we had to give something back to the fans who had suffered.

"Now we’re back in the Premier League we can enjoy ourselves again.

"I love playing for Newcastle, that is why I wanted to stay. And also, looking at my career, I believe it was a great experience for me to play in the Championship.

"Everything was new to me. I had played at the World Cup, the Olympics but never in this division.

"It was a real learning curve and made me a better player. Yes, it’s great to play in the Premier League, but perhaps it’s harder lower down.

"You have to concentrate more, be more humble.

"In Argentina we have a belief that if you go down with a team you must stay there and help correct what has happened.

"You take the club into your heart and you need to come back."