Fabio Coentrao said the reason he agreed to cancel his contract at Real Madrid with a year left was because he wanted to be happy.
Coentrao signed for Madrid in 2011 after leaving Benfica, and after being sent on loan to Sporting Lisbon last season, he had hoped to be able to return on a permanent deal.
Instead, the left-back rejoined boyhood club Rio Ave on Friday ahead of the transfer deadline.
"I waited until the 31st for a call from [Sporting], to which I gave everything I had last year, and I got zero calls," Coentrao told Record. "It's sad."
"After that, I thought I needed to be happy and I lost a lot of money to get that happiness at [Rio Ave], a club that has always acted well and faithful to me. There is no money that can pay for happiness. I was born poor. I don't mind dying poor."
Coentrao, 30, said in March that he "had forgotten how to play football" at Madrid, and he asked not to be included in Portugal's provisional World Cup squad in May after what he said was an "exhausting" season at Sporting.
There were reports in Spain that Coentrao did not return to preseason training with Madrid by mid-August, but he posted photos on his social media account proving the contrary.