Jonas Gutierrez: Newcastle midfielder feels 'born again'

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Emotional to be back - Gutierrez

Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez says he feels "born again" following his return to Premier League action after overcoming testicular cancer.

In an interview with Football Focus, the Argentine, 31, revealed the shock of his diagnosis last year and the subsequent support from his team-mates.

"It was really emotional to be back," he said. "I feel born again and like I'm enjoying things for the first time.

"Of course, now I want to prove I can still be a Premier League player."

Gutierrez had an operation to remove his left testicle in September 2014 after the discovery of a tumour, before undergoing chemotherapy.

He made his return to the Newcastle first team for the 1-0 defeat by Manchester United on 4 March as a substitute.

Gutierrez, who joined the Magpies from Real Mallorca in July 2008, is out of contract in the summer but is just focused on playing regularly again for the time being.

Jonas Gutierrez factfile
Joined Newcastle from Mallorca in July 2008 on a five-year contract
Signed a new four-year deal in September 2011
Made his first appearance for Argentina in February 2007, and played for his country in 2010 World Cup

"I know my situation here is a little tricky," he said. "The one thing I can do is work hard and do my best.

"I want to stay in England and I love the Premier League, but I don't know about the future.

"At present, I am with Newcastle and have two months to finish the season. When the season finishes, I start thinking about the future."

The full interview with Jonas Gutierrez can be seen on Saturday's Football Focus at 1130 (GMT) and below are some of the highlights.

'My dad thought I was joking'

"When they told me I had cancer, it was a shock. I remember I was with the Newcastle doctor and I started crying," said Gutierrez.

"I went to my house to speak to my dad and he thought I was making a joke with him. He didn't realise and believe what I was telling him."

Jonas Gutierrez
Gutierrez received a lot of support from players and fans during his treatment

He added: "Chemotherapy is a hard treatment. I was just thinking after each session it was a day less I had to recover.

"I received a lot of support. To be back and train, do what you love, is another thing that makes you recover quickly."

His return against Manchester United

Jonas Gutierrez
Gutierrez made his Newcastle return against Manchester United on 4 March

"It was really emotional to be back. It was good to have a first step a few days before against Aston Villa and be on the bench," said Gutierrez.

"When I came on against United, I could just focus on the game. It was unbelievable and to get the armband was a great touch.

"Now I want to fight for my place. What is in my head is to work hard, do all I can to get minutes on the pitch."

An Eminem tattoo

Jonas Gutierrez
After recovering, Gutierrez had a tattoo with the lyrics from an Eminem song.

"When the doctor told me I was recovering, I wanted to make a new tattoo," Gutierrez added.

"I love Eminem, so I put part of a song on my arm and I put the date. It says: 'I am alive again, more alive than I have been in my whole entire life.'"

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