Keita explains Barcelona exit
Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita
The 32-year-old had a contract tying him with the Catalan side until 2014, but had to terminate the deal as he was unable to play regularly.
The Malian midfielder was the club’s first signing when former coach Pep Guardiola took over in 2008, joining from fellow La Liga side Sevilla, but he says their relationship was not as great as it was made to be in the media.
"I've heard it said many times that Guardiola really liked me,” Keita is quoted as saying on Marca.
“People got that idea because he said good things about me, they thought everything was okay. But then I didn't play.
"My only regret today is about the words he dedicated to me. We spoke man to man because it didn't seem right that he would praise me in public and then not put me in the team.”
Keita is hoping that playing regularly for his new club Dalian Aerbin in the Chinese Super League will help him enjoy his football once again.
“Playing in one match and then being named as a substitute for the next two was a big concern for me at Barcelona,” said Keita. “It's a physical handicap.
“In China you don't have that problem.”
While in China, Keita will come up against former Sevilla teammate and countryman Frederic Kanoute, who recently joined Beijing Guoan, as well as Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, who recently signed for Shanghai Shenhua.