Mexico international Giovani dos Santos has said that he doesn't regret opting to play in the United States for the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer and said he is having his best season ever.
With three years remaining on his contract, the former Barcelona player said his goal is to give Galaxy fans joy as the club tries to protect its slim lead in the second leg of the MLS playoff series with the Colorado Rapids next week.
"This season has been very good," Dos Santos told Sport newspaper. "Physically I am having a great moment, psychologically I have a lot of confidence and also, good things have been happening to me on the field. So I am enjoying this. As a matter of fact, I think this is the best season of my career."
The 27-year-old last month also got first call-up to El Tri since the 2015 Gold Cup, which Mexico won. In two October friendlies, he captained the team and was involved in all three goals Mexico scored against New Zealand and Panama.
"This has been a year during which on a personal level I have felt very comfortable. And I have worked really hard. And in addition to being in the playoffs with the Galaxy, I got the call from the national team again," he said. "I feel like I have matured. I think it has to do with my age and the fact that I have lived through more experiences, both good and bad.
"And all of those experiences have helped me grow. Now I feel like things are going well and I feel more stable."
Last weekend, Dos Santos' deflected header was enough to give the Galaxy a 1-0 win in their home leg, a key goal considering that Colorado allowed seven fewer goals than any other MLS team this season.
But Dos Santos, who has scored 20 goals in 47 matches as a Galaxy player, said the team has no plans to get overconfident.
- LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) November 2, 2016
"This is going to be very close," he said of the series against the Rapids. "We have only scored one goal at home, but Colorado is the team that has allowed the fewest goals this season. The playoffs are the most intense part of the season, the pressure is on and the atmosphere is spectacular. The tiniest details could seal our fate."
About rumors that Ronaldinho could play in the MLS next season, Dos Santos said he would be welcome.
"Although the years go by, his magic can't be equalled," he said.
After seasons in the Premier League and in Europe with Barcelona, Tottenham, Ipswich, Galatasaray, Racing Santander, Mallorca and Villarreal, Dos Santos said he never doubted that MLS was the right career choice last year.
"Their proposal was very ambitious and very good and I saw it is a great opportunity," he said. "MLS has grown a lot and it will continue to grow. I feel like they have made the effort to bring in young players who have made names for themselves in Europe. It is a competitive league and the fan base is growing. I am positive that in a few short years it will become one of the strongest leagues in the world."
He stressed that he is happy in Los Angeles.
"I have three years left on my contract and my mind is only on Galaxy," he said. "I feel right at home here because there are so many Latinos, especially other Mexicans, and I am enjoying being so close to my people.
He said he didn't think European football was better than MLS.
"There are no great differences," he said. "In the United States we work just as hard, with intensity and pressure. Perhaps European football is a bit faster and this football is more physical. But here the players are just as well prepared."