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The Brazil international has dismissed suggestions he moved to Russia purely for financial reasons and claims his decision was based on a desire for a fresh start

Anzhi Makhachkala winger Willian says it was "time for a change", after completing a move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January.

The Brazil international moved to Russia for a reported 35 million euros fee and signed a contract until 2017 with Guus Hiddink's side, and although many believes the switch was financially motivated, he insists that was not the case.

"I've earned quite a lot of money in Donetsk," the 24-year-old told Sport Express. "With Shakhtar I also won a set of titles not only in Ukraine but in Europe also. I felt comfortable there. But the time for change has come."

The former Corinthians winger also revealed that conversations with the club's owners over their long-term ambitions helped to sway his decision.

"My conversation with Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov decided everything," Willian said. "After that I decided to join Anzhi. The club management are not only thinking about short-term gains, they really want to create a serious football infrastructure in Dagestan, to lift the game in the republic to a higher level."

Willian appeared 140 times for his former club Shakhtar, scoring 20 goals in total.


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