Why City was the only place for Alex - Tettey maps out the reason behind signing a new deal with Canaries
PUBLISHED: 11:57 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03 09 March 2020
Alex Tettey has paid a heartfelt tribute to his wife for allowing him to pen a new contract with Norwich City.
The Norwegian midfielder signed a one-year contract extension last month, taking his association with the Canaries into its ninth year.
Yet, the 33-year-old defied the desire of his wife by remaining in Norfolk, who wanted to return to Norway after the expiry of his contract with City.
"The wife wants to go home," he said. "She still wants to go home. She has been on this journey since we went to Rennes in France eleven years ago. But she realises the importance of me being the age I am, and being offered a contract, you have to think a lot before you say no.
"It's not every time you get a contract. She (Marit) is smart enough to say thank you. She's on the journey. When things are done, we go home happy and take up a new life. They are included. The guys at home are happy. When they are happy, I am happy to hang around in England, because it is the best place to be in football. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else."
The Norwegian international signed for City in 2012, when Chris Hughton brought the combative midfielder to Norfolk from Stade Rennes. The 33-year-old is the Canaries longest serving player but plans to return to Norway once his playing career is over.
"I feel I owe her and have to show it when my career is over. Without her, this would not have happened. I must say that," Tettey told Norwegian outlet VG.
"She is at the centre so I even stand here tonight. She is home and looks after two children. Everything has stopped for her when she is on this journey. I owe her a lot.
"At the same time, I do all this for her and for the children. We spend a lot of time at home in Trondheim with snow and all that. She understands that, and I am grateful that she is with me. It is very important."
Tettey has been consistently linked with a return to Norway, with reports to his ex-club Rosenborg proving exhausting for City's midfielder. He spent six years in Trondheim, the place he still considers home.
Now, Tettey has dismissed a return to the top-flight in Norway altogether, stating his opposition to playing on artificial pitches as the reason he didn't wish to return to his native country during his playing career.
"I will not play football in Norway. What's the point? I can't train on artificial turf, I can't play matches on artificial turf. When I go home to Norway, I'm old. Health is no reason to play football in Norway, so why should I do that?"
Tettey has been a pivotal part of City's plans this season and his partnership with Kenny McLean has contributed to the Canaries possessing more solidity in defensive phases of play.
Ex-City boss Alex Neil once claimed Tettey was unable to play two fixtures in a week due to his knees, but the experienced midfielder claims he has never felt better physically.
"I can't really describe it. Everything has worked to the maximum, which has made me sign the contract. I honestly don't know if the body will work next season. I don't really know, and I have been honest about that, but you would think and hope it goes.
"Physically, I've never felt better than now. I don't know, and I've been asked many times about how to do it, but it just happened."