“The board wanted me to be here to help and that is very important to me”
MADRID, 20 Jan. (.) –
The new Atlético de Madrid player, Memphis Depay, acknowledged this Friday that he was very “excited” about the new “challenge” that his signing for the rojiblanco club entails, at the same time that he confessed that he “wanted” to adapt quickly to the dynamics of the team, something that ‘Cholo’ Simeone asked him for in the conversation they both had during their first training session.
“We talked a bit about how I feel. The most important thing is that he wants me to feel at home and to adapt to the team as soon as possible, that makes me excited and I feel like it. He wants me to be ready as soon as possible. Besides, he knows me quite well. He liked me as a player when I was at Lyon and he wants me to take that form. It’s going to be a challenge for me,” said the player during his presentation at the Civitas Metropolitano.
The president of Atlético de Madrid, Enrique Cerezo, wanted to welcome him, highlighting his “competitiveness” and “nose” to help achieve the club’s goals. “Memphis arrives at Atlético to provide greater competitiveness. Their sense of smell will help us in this second half in which our team has the objective of reaching the Champions League places. We will also fight to go as far as possible in the Cup, a competition that excites us a lot. We know that you will defend our colors with sacrifice,” he said.
Also present during the event was former rojiblanco player Manolo Sánchez Delgado, who gave him the ‘keys’ to succeed in his new team. “To tell him that I personally love the signing. I hope he puts all the virtues he has on the field: effort, talent, character and above all goals. At Atlético de Madrid the most important thing and what is most valued is commitment and above all all the passion for these colors. I am convinced that it will be a clear example on the field”, he pointed out.
In this sense, Memphis appreciated the love received and highlighted the virtues of a team with a great “fighting spirit.” “Last year when I came here I was very impressed. Also with the intensity that is played and the fighting spirit. We had a very bad time, in fact we lost. It is a very big club with a good team and very good players. That was the feeling I had to make the decision. The board wanted me to be here to help and that is very important to me,” he said.
“I spoke with Griezmann and he told me a lot of good things about the team, about the people who work here. When I arrived it was not a surprise, it was as expected. I joined them, they welcomed me with open arms. It was very nice,” he added.
Asked about the defensive aspect, key in the ‘Cholo’ system, the Dutchman recalled his commitment and promised to adapt to the new style. “I think we all have to work. I always look at the statistics after the games and they may be surprised because they can see the kilometers I put in. I work for the team and it won’t be a problem. I’ll adapt to the new style, but I don’t see it as a problem.” he added.
The ex of Barcelona thanked Simeone for his words when he compared him with Diego Costa, although he spoke of the differences between the two players. “Everyone seems to have different opinions. Costa is a great player, he was very successful here. I think we are different players. I don’t really like being compared because everyone has the right to be their own player. I like it that he had a great fighting spirit and in that it is a good comparison”, he highlighted.
The attacker did not want to set a number of goals as a goal and also stressed his “creative” facet as an assistant. “I don’t want to say a number, although I have it in my head. The important thing is to give a boost and the goals will come to the team. It’s more than goals, I also love giving assists. I’m expected to score goals, but creative players we also want to create chances. Although I have to score, yes”, he explained.
Lastly, the Dutch international spoke about his versatility on the field and his ability to play in different positions. “I’ve also played as a midfielder. It depends. I like to have freedom in the center to have the ball and create space and opportunities. Time will tell what my experience here is like, but I need to adapt to the team and to what the coach wants and contribute from my own creativity to be functional in the team”, he concluded.