Former Springbok fullback Johan Goosen has admitted that the manner in which he backed out of his contract with Racing 92 was a ‘mistake’.
Goosen controversially got out of his reported deal with Racing, which was set to end in 2020, by ‘retiring’ from the game in December 2016 and accepting a job as a commercial director.
He has since come out of retirement and joined Montpellier.
“To be clear, I did not feel good in Paris,” said Goosen.
“I am South African, I need space and, in the suburbs of Paris, the buildings are so close to each other that I felt like I was choking. I had the uncomfortable feeling of living in a box. The worst part is that my son was also very unhappy.
“Because I was very unhappy off the pitch, I could not have stayed for five more years… Money has nothing to do with it. I wanted another life, the sun, the space and the nature. I’ll have all this in Montpellier.’
“It was madness. I made a mistake. But that’s life. Paradoxically, I have also grown a lot over the past two years. I emptied my head and allowed my body time to recover… I went through bad times. I was very sad. I thought all of this would never end. Sometimes I said to myself: “Maybe I should go back to Racing?” And at other times, I was persuaded that going back would not do me any good. In fact, I was lost… If a player is in my situation, I would say to him: ”Do not do it, you will regret it. The price to pay is too heavy.”.
“I’m going to be whistled, booed, insulted. But I do not care. I prepared myself for it… I know that everyone thinks that I am a bad guy, and that I do not deserve the second chance that has been offered to me. Nevertheless, I hope that one day I will be forgiven and that in Montpellier, my rugby will make people happy.’