You are returning to Atleti after two seasons at Juventus, how do you feel on your return?
I'm very motivated and I can't wait to start training. I'm sure it's going to be a great year.
In the squad you are going to coincide with many players who were already in your previous stage like Koke, Llorente, Hermoso, Savic, Oblak, João, Correa..., I imagine that’s important for you, isn't it?
Yes, I'm going to meet up again with all those players who are also friends, they've always treated me very well and we've kept in touch. I'm looking forward to seeing them, it's going to be very important that we get to know each other so that we can compete at the best level.
Besides, I'm lucky to have already worked with Simeone and his team and that will make things easier. I can't wait to start preparing for this season together.
How do you see the great competition in the attacking area of the team?
There is a lot of competition up front, there are many great players and I think that’s very good for the team because the more options there are to choose from and the more options there are in the attacking zone, the better it is for the competitiveness between us and above all to compete against the other teams.
It's a super-complete squad that can aspire to win everything, as they showed two seasons ago by winning the league title in a championship as complicated as the Spanish one
What differences do you see between the current Atleti and the one from your last season?
It's a super-complete squad that can aspire to win everything, as they showed two seasons ago by winning the league title in a championship as complicated as the Spanish one. We have to work very hard this pre-season to be in the best physical condition to fight for everything.
The team will be able to work from the start with the majority of the squad, could this be one of the keys compared to other seasons?
I think it's very important that we can all work together from the beginning and we have the opportunity to get physically fit to arrive at the start of the season in the best possible form. The preseason in Los Angeles always gives you a lot of strength to face the season.
On a personal level, it doesn't matter if you set yourself challenges, the important thing is to be competitive as a group and fight for everything until the end.
We have an exciting season ahead of us, what challenges do you set for yourself as an individual and for the team?
On an individual level, the successes you have to set for yourself must be few, in the end you must think about helping the team as much as possible with goals and assists, but the most important thing is to win titles, that's what I want and what my teammates want. On a personal level, it doesn't matter if you set yourself challenges, the important thing is to be competitive as a group and fight for everything until the end.
The season will be altered by the World Cup between November and December, how do you think it will affect the different competitions we will face?
It's a World Cup year and I don't think it will affect it much, on the contrary, I think it could be positive for our team because there are many players who will be able to play in that championship and obviously when it's a World Cup year people are very motivated from the beginning and they will be like that all year to prove to their coaches that they have to be in the World Cup.
You left the club in the middle of the Covid pandemic, with no fans in the stadiums, I imagine you are looking forward to feeling the warmth of our fans again.
The pandemic was something dramatic, something that left a mark on all of us, on society. Particularly, the end of that season without the public was very sad for all the players, not having the public in the stadiums made you feel a great sense of emptiness. That's why I'm really looking forward to seeing our fans, who are the best in the world, filling the stadium and cheering the team on as always. It's something I miss very much.