Aug. 29 (UPI) -- LAFC striker Carlos Vela said he accepted a move to play for Spain soccer power Barcelona in January, before the La Liga club went in a different direction.
"I was really close [to joining Barca]," Vela said. "In the second month of my holiday, I had a pina colada in hand and my agent called me to say: 'Look, Barcelona is calling you.
"They want you to play for four months and then you can go back to Los Angeles.' I said to him: 'Just say yes, I don't care about money or anything. I'm going to start training tomorrow. Give me two weeks to get fit and we'll make it.'"
"Barcelona and Real Madrid are two teams where you can't say 'no,'" Vela said.
Vela, 30, leads Major League Soccer with 27 goals this season. He scored twice in LAFC's 3-3 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday in Los Angeles. The Mexican forward began his senior career in 2005 with Arsenal. He also had loans with Cela de Vigo, Salamanca, Osasuna, West Bromwich Albion and Real Sociedad before joining Real Sociedad permanently in 2012.
Vela signed with the Galaxy in 2018. He also has 72 international appearances for Mexico. He said he wants to play in Los Angeles for the remainder of his career.
LAFC hosts Minnesota United at 10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.