New signing Gabi was officially presented at the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday morning alongside Atlético sporting director Jose Luis Caminero.
The Rojiblanco youth system product, full name Gabriel Fernández Arenas, returns home after spending four seasons at Zaragoza, and signs a four-year deal with his childhood club.
“It’s exciting and a big challenge to return to Atlético Madrid,” the 27-year-old told reporters at the press conference.
“Everyone knows I was raised here and I have supported Atlético Madrid all my life,” he said.
“My hopes were to grow as a football player and as a person, and I feel like I have achieved that. Thanks to my hard work I have managed to return to try to become an important player and achieve the goals of the club. I’m willing to work to the maximum.”
Gabi feels he has an advantage with Gregorio Manzano at the helm of the squad, the coach that handed him his debut start in the Primera División back in the 2003/04 season at Atleti.
“My decision was made a long time ago because I have always wanted to come back here,” said Gabi.
“It’s clear that I will have to work very hard to earn back the manager’s respect. The respect that I had won some time ago when he gave me my first chance to start.”
The former Zaragoza captain reported to the Majadahonda training facilities on Monday for pre-season workouts and tests with the rest of the players.
“I knew a lot of my team-mates and almost everything remains the same,” he said.
“It’s clear that little by little the club is growing as an institution and its objectives are the same as they were when I left. Big goals for the biggest club in Spain.”