Mohamed Diame on turning his back on Premier League football, international retirement – and his future at Newcastle

Mohamed Diame
Mohamed Diame
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Mohamed Diame turned his back on the Premier League a year ago.

The midfielder scored the goal at Wembley that took Hull City into English football’s top flight.

Then Rafa Benitez came calling.

Diame had to choose between Premier League football with Hull – and another season in the Championship with Newcastle United.

Diame chose the latter option – and the rest is history.

“I knew Newcastle is a massive club,” said the 29-year-old. “It was a big opportunity for me.

It’s a massive club, so I knew if it was promoted it would be one of the biggest in the Premier League. I’m really happy that the dream came true.

Mohamed Diame

“It wasn’t an easy decision, because I was dropping again to the Championship.

“It’s a massive club, so I knew if it was promoted it would be one of the biggest in the Premier League.

“I’m really happy that the dream came true.

“I’m very, very happy. Everything is like (what) I was dreaming in my head.

“We got promoted and won the league, and now we’re back to the Premier League.

“It’s the league I want to play in. I’m very happy.”

Diame, signed for £5million, struggled for form in the Championship.

And he retired from international football with Senegal so he could focus on his club career.

Diame – who has played in the Premier League for Hull, West Ham United and Wigan Athletic – believes that he’s already benefitting from a summer’s rest.

“I feel good,” he said. “I had a good rest and a long summer.

“Everyone knows that I stopped my international career, so I had a good break.

“Now I’m ready to go back to this league and show everyone that I’m back.”

Diame – who scored six goals in all competitions last season – retired from international football in March.

He had won 31 caps for his country.

Asked about the decision, Diame said: “It’s tough, definitely. All of my family wanted me to see me with this shirt more.

“But I just needed to take this decision for my body.

“I did it, and now I need to look forward and think about this season in the Premier League.”