Memphis Depay is in all respects and officially already a footballer of Atlético de Madrid and has been presented as such in the Cívitas Metropolitano. The Dutchman, who will wear the 9, joined training on Thursday and, after two sessions ordered by Simeone, has had his debut before the media at the stadium, where he will debut in 24 hours as a rojiblanco in the League, as it will come in the call for Valladolid (Saturday 6.30 pm).
Enrique Cerezo hosted the striker, along with Antonio Alonso, Andrea Berta, Manolo Sánchez and Marcelino. “He is a striker with extensive experience in European football who has shown his great quality in all teams. He arrives to make the team’s attack competitive to achieve the goals in the league and in the cup, you already know who we have had to deal with,” said the president.
Manolo Sánchez also welcomed him: “I like the signing, he seems like a great striker, a goalscorer. I hope he puts all his virtues on the field, effort, talent, character and above all goals. Atlético appreciates the effort and especially the passion for these colors. I am convinced that you will be an example. Good luck”.
Then the football player spoke.
-How was the first contact?
-First of all, I thank the president for his words. Everything went very fast, I joined the team on the grass, it was intense. I had a good conversation with the coach and I am very happy and excited to show what I can do.
Why did you choose Atlético?
Of course I gained the experience of playing against them last year. I was very impressed by the stadium, the intensity with which the games are played. That fighting spirit. We had a really bad time, we lost here (2-0). It is a very big club, with a very impressive history, a good team, very good players. I heard a lot of good things about it, it was the feeling I had, my sensations. The impression the Board of Directors gave me wanted me to be here, this is very important for them to decide.
What did Simeone ask of him?
We talked for a bit about how I feel. Yesterday was a very long day, all the paperwork… The most important thing is that he wants me to feel at home and of course he wants me to adjust as soon as possible. It makes me excited. He is known for his passion for the club and wants it to be ready as soon as possible. I think he knows me well from my time at Lyon and Barça, he liked me since I was at Lyon. It will be a challenge for me.
How would you describe yourself as a football player? The coach has compared him to Diego Costa.
I do not know. Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Costa is a great player, he was very successful here. I think we are different players. I don’t really like to be compared, everyone has the right to be their own player. I like that he had a great fighting spirit and that’s a good comparison.
Are you prepared to contribute defensively as well?
Yes of course. I think we all have to work. I always look at the stats after the races and they might be surprised because they can see how many miles I’m doing. I work for the team and it won’t be a problem. I will adapt to the new style, but I don’t see it as a problem.
What surprised me the most?
I talked to Griezmann and he told me a lot of good things about the team, about the people who work here. When I arrived it was no surprise, it was as expected. I joined them, they welcomed me with open arms. It was very nice.
Do you dare to give some goals?
Surely it is not more goals than the legend (Manolo). I don’t want to name a number, although I have it in my head. The main thing is to give a boost and the goals will come to the team. It’s more than goals, I also like to give assists. He is expected to score goals, but creative players also want to create chances. Although I have to highlight, yes.
In which position do you feel most comfortable?
I also played as a midfielder. It depends. I like to have freedom in the center to have the ball and create space and chances. Time will tell how my experience is here, but I have to adapt to the team and what the coach wants and contribute my own creativity to be functional in the team.