Illarramendi: “I could not let the opportunity to join Real Madrid pass”


Asier Illarrendi was presented as new Real Madrid player at the Bernabeu on a six year contract worth €39 million (including VAT). The presentation followed the usual pattern of medical, signing of contract, presentation in front of the board members and fans followed by wearing the Real Madrid shirt and showing some tricks with the ball for the cameras.

At the presentation, Florentino Perez took to the stage first to introduce the signing and welcome him aboard.

We keep working and improving our sporting project. Today arrives one of the most promising talents of our football, who shared the dressing room at Euro U21 with some of the players who are now his new teammates. Asier, here you will meet 111 years of history. You'll have by your side a very unique and challenging set of fans. And thanks to a club like la Real, this moment is possible.

Thereafter Illarramendi was presented with his 24 number jersey and he addressed the fans and the board members:

Today is a very special day for me. Joining this club is a huge accomplishment for me. Until a few days ago, I couldn't imagine wearing a shirt that wasn't of la Real. Now I will give everything for this club. Hopefully the season will be a success and continue to grow the history of the club. Thanks to my friends and family for accompanying me in this moment.

After the usual job of posing for the cameras on the pitch, Illarramendi was interviewed in the press room.

(On Xabi Alonso and comparison between both) Xabi is a great player, I hope to learn a lot from him. The other day I was with him in Zubieta and told me this was amazing. Now I have the opportunity to play alongside him which is incredible.

(On Real Madrid) The club has always shown me their love, thank them for their trust and the effort. Now I am ready to start.

(On his friends present for the presentation) Yesterday I had the opportunity to say goodbye to them. They organised everything to come and I thank them all. They are also freaking out, we come from a town of 5,000 occupants and for them this is something incredible.

(Decision to join Real Madrid) The truth is I have spent 12 years with Real Sociedad, but I got the opportunity to come to Madrid, and I could not let that pass. Florentino and all directors have behaved sensationally with me and now I will work hard.

(About the competition for his place) For Madrid there are great players in all positions, I'm nothing like anyone, and I intend to work hard and with humility, I will do everything to to play.

(Call by Real Madrid) After returning from the Euro U21 to my village, I talked to my agents and they told me of the interest Real Madrid had in me which doesn't happen everyday.  I spoke to a few people here, to important people, and it was a beautiful opportunity to be here.

(Await a good reception at Anoeta?) What is clear is that now I'm here but I always gave it my all there but again I would repeat that I am part of this club and I hope I'm received well. I'm happy to be here and I will work hard.

(On Real Madrid's bet on young players and Spaniards) It is clear that Madrid is signing young players with a very good future - Morata Nacho, Isco and Carvajal, are friends and great players. We have to fight together for our good.

(His conversation with Ancelotti) Yesterday when everything was closed I talked to Ancelotti, he called me and congratulated me for all the effort. Now to fight with humility and work because it won't be easy, but I intend to make a place in the lineup.

(Did Florentino convince you?) No, Zidane did not call me, but yes I talked to the president, he showed his love for me and made a great effort. Also talked to Xabi Alonso in Zubieta and told me that everything here is very good, as I had already checked.

(His first day in Madrid) Earlier I was a little bit nervous, now I'm better, but it is clear that my life will change a lot, but I'm sure I'm not going to change.

(Afraid of this adventure?) Not afraid, attracts you to the best club in the world and has gotten me this unique opportunity and it was irresistible, I'm not scared.

(The possibility of going to World Cup in Brazil) I don't know, you never know, do not think about it. Now only thinking about Monday. If the year goes well we'll see, my goal is to give everything for Real Madrid and if it comes to it, I will go.

(You don't think about the final price of your offer?) I only think about sporting side, I think about doing my job well. Work daily to improve every day. The figures I'd rather not talk, I thank Florentino everything and I want to thank him.


(Image source)

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