Ex-Aston Villa, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough £6m star returns to former club

Rudy Gestede was at Aston Villa for a season-and-a-half. (Image: Getty Images)Rudy Gestede was at Aston Villa for a season-and-a-half. (Image: Getty Images)
Rudy Gestede was at Aston Villa for a season-and-a-half. (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images
A return to English football is on the cards for a striker once signed for £6m by Aston Villa.

Former Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede is returning to England to help prepare him for life for a new role after retiring from football.

According to Alan Nixon, Gestede is back at his former club Blackburn Rovers to help learn the ropes of becoming a director of football. He is on placement with the Lancashire club as he continues to study for his degree and is shadowing directors with the hopes of becoming qualified.

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The 35-year-old retired in 2022 with his last club being Esteghal, a team in Iran. He gave an interview to the Lancashire Telegraph in 2023 admitting he didn't want to become a coach but instead wanted to focus on earning an executive role at a club.

“I don’t want to be on the pitch every day anymore,” Gestede said.

“I still want to be involved in the football industry, I think it is an amazing sport.

“I didn’t want to carry on that route (into coaching) like many players are. I want to make an impact in football, make a big difference and bring some new ideas maybe. I want to follow what is working and bringing a new identity to football clubs.

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“If I get the opportunity do make it happen, I will be very happy and probably bring more than I could on the pitch.”

Gestede signed for Aston Villa in July 2015 from Blackburn Rovers for a fee believed to be around £6m. He played 58 times for Villa, scoring 10 goals, and was part of the team that suffered relegation in 2016.

He came to England in 2011, joining Cardiff City and at with the Bluebirds he scored nine goals in 63 games. At Blackburn is where he had his best spell, finding the back of the net 35 times after appearing in 73 games.

After suffering relegation with Villa in 2016, he moved on to Middlesbrough and spent three-and-a-half years there, scoring eight times in 71 games before leaving the UK behind and spending a year in Australia with Melbourne Victory.

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