Brilliant Buendia on City’s title win, his English gamble and Norfolk beaches
PUBLISHED: 09:46 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 16 May 2019
Emi Buendia insists Norwich City’s title win and promotion to the Premier League proved he was right to gamble on a move to England.
The Argentine ace was a revelation in his debut season after being plucked from a loan spell in the Spanish second tier.
Buendia notched eight goals and provided another 12 assists to play a huge role in an unlikely Championship trophy-winning campaign for Daniel Farke's squad.
"It was my best season in terms of goals (eight), assists and minutes," he said.
"Of all the second European championships, England is the strongest. I felt comfortable and adapted faster than I thought.
"I had the continuity and confidence that a footballer needs.
"Nobody imagined that we were going to get the title. It was not a goal as it might have been for other bigger teams. It is a very tough category. Those who come down from the Premier League have a very good budget, keep players and invest a lot in hiring.
"There are many very competitive teams. At first we were behind the three that had descended (Swansea, Stoke and West Bromwich) and Aston Villa, who had played the play-offs from last season, and Leeds, who were given a boost with the arrival of (Marcelo) Bielsa."
Buendia, speaking to Argentine daily newspaper La Nacion, admitted the scale of Norwich City's title celebrations, with a civic parade and an open top bus tour, brought home to him the size of the club.
"I was surprised by the number of people. I did not know there were so many people in the city," he said. "The affection of the fans was impressive. In Norwich we toured the city in a convertible bus, we went to the Town Hall, a couple of players talked from the balcony.
"We obtained the title (at Aston Villa) and we celebrated it on the field.
"They gave us the trophy and they set the stage for us. Our rivals made us a corridor, very respectful, as they are here in general. That surprised me a lot."
Buendia and his young family feel at home in Norfolk.
"Luckily, my girlfriend was able to come with the baby that was born in August in Madrid, where my partner is from. We made a home life," he said. "The city is small, quiet, beautiful.
"It is to the east, two hours by car from London and 20, 30 minutes from the beach.
"I went to one of the beaches, I liked it for a weekend, but as soon as I mentioned it at training they told me that I had gone to the worst one of all, that the best ones are farther north."