Former Galatasaray captain Arda Turan was presented at the Vicente Calderón Tuesday afternoon by his new club Atlético.
“I am very happy and thankful for being here,” he said.
“I want to thank each and every Atletico employee for their treatment of me, from my team-mates to the very last worker at the club’s facilities.
“They have received me very affectionately, with a hug and a smile, and that’s what I needed.”
Tomas Ujfalusi, who spent some time with Turan in Istanbul after joining Galatasaray earlier in the summer, provided Arda with some insight as to what to expect at Atleti.
“Ujfalusi had told me good things about the club, the atmosphere, and how passionate the fans are,” said Arda.
“I’ve been able to confirm what he told me.”
The 24-year-old, primarily a left-winger, admitted he’s open to playing wherever the team needs him.
“What position I play isn’t that important to me,” he said. “I like to play and feel comfortable on the left wing, but I can also play behind the forward or on the right wing.”
Arda played down the injury he sustained last week in Turkey’s friendly, which will reportedly keep him out for about two more weeks.
“It’s nothing serious,” he said. “I’ve already started to run and I think that in five or six days I’ll be able to take part in the training sessions.”
The gifted playmaker feels los Rojiblancos can realistically compete with the two powerhouses of la Liga.
“Real Madrid and Barcelona are big clubs, but at the end of the day, the 11 that play are human and Atlético have great potential to reach their level,” he said.
“We have to fight. I don’t think it’s impossible.”
He respects Real, but feels “it’s normal, as an Atlético player to want to score goals against them.”
Finally, Turan went over the objectives he has set for himself at his new home.
“My goal is to get a lot of assists, score and play as many games as possible, but also, to help out my team-mates.”