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Peru and Newcastle - 01/05/2003

Peru and Newcastle
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   Birmingham City
   Federación Peruana de Fútbol

Once again there are stories in the media about the 'club v country' issues I’m facing. Everybody knows that I want to play in all my country's games and all Newcastle’s game, however, that simply isn’t possible. As a result, there has to be a compromise. I’ve looked at this situation and agreed a long time ago that if an international friendly clashed with a Newcastle game where I was needed, I’d choose my club. I obviously love my country but it’s my club who pay my wages, looking at the situation now we have a very, very important game at home to Birmingham on Saturday. A win will put us in a very strong position to qualify for the Champions League and I'm desperate to do everything I can to get the result. Peru played Paraguay in a friendly match last night and although it would have been great to have played, I could not have made it back and prepared properly for Saturday’s game.

I have explained the situation to the manager Paulo Autori and also spoken to senior members of my Football Association. They wanted me to play – and I can understand that – but they also understand the situation at Newcastle and realise that I couldn’t play in both the games. I think the media have got hold of the story and exaggerated the feelings of my FA.

I have to say that if this had been a competitive game that was important, I’d have played. I'll always choose the game that is most important and where I'm needed most. Sometimes it will be Peru, and sometimes it will be Newcastle. All I ask for is a little understanding - and I hope both my Newcastle fans and my Peruvian fans can understand that and support me? Common sense must be used when I am faced with these problems, and looking at the two games, I'm confident I've made the correct decision.

It was fantastic to get a win at Sunderland and even if the performance was not great, it was all about the result. When we got the penalty I knew it would be me to take it as Alan had been substituted. To score the only and the winning goal in the derby is brilliant – but the most important thing was to win…and that’s what we did!! We are now back on track and we need to be, Birmingham have suddenly become a very good team and even with the game being at home in Newcastle, I think we’ll have a much harder game than the fixture at St. Andrew’s. We had a good win down there and just as I did on Saturday, I managed to get on the score sheet in a 2-1 win.

As you can see, you can buy an ‘Official Solano’ ‘t’ shirt, this picture shows the back of the shirt, but after Saturday’s win we’re also adding…

‘Sunderland 0 Newcastle 1

Solano (p) 43 mins, 26/04.03'

To buy the shirt, click on the ‘shopping’ button at the bottom of the page. Thankyou.

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