SAÚL RETURNS HOME TO START PRE-SEASON THIS SUNDAY

Saúl: "I'm very excited to be back home and mentally at my best".

The midfielder tells us about his feelings on his return to the club after one season on loan at Chelsea.

How do you feel and how are you facing your return to Atleti?

Honestly, I feel very well, I'm looking forward to coming back home and I'm mentally at mybest. I'm looking forward to seeing my teammates, to see the coach and to work under himagain. I'm looking forward to Sunday and meeting everyone again.

What has your experience in the Premier League been like and what do you take awayfrom it?

Despite the fact that I have not had the desired minutes I think it has been a goodexperience for me to leave at a time when mentally I was not feeling well. I have been ableto reset, learn about a new culture, lead a new life, meet a new club, new fans. I can only begrateful to all the people at Chelsea for their trust and to my teammates for making the yearso easy for me and helping me and to Atleti for making it easier. I think this season hashelped me to improve in many aspects, I have learned a lot and that will be good for this newseason.

I'm looking forward to Sunday and meeting everyone again.

On Sunday you will meet everyone again, are you looking forward to this moment?

Of course, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, the coaching staff, the physios, the kitmen, the groundsmen, the security people, the delegate... everyone, I'm really lookingforward to seeing them all, because I've missed them all. I came to Madrid three or four daysearlier because I can't wait to get started, to get back to the day-to-day work.

The pre-season is starting, how do you assess the work done during this part of theyear?

In the pre-season we know that we always work very hard here and that's hard. It's a phaseof accumulation of work that will be decisive throughout the season. This year will bedifferent because there is a World Cup in the middle of the season and that will mean thatthe pre-season will be managed differently. I'm looking forward to working with Profe Ortega,Dani, Pitillas, Zahínos... they are the ones who are in charge of the day-to-day physicalpreparation and I'm sure they will get us at the best level for the competition.

  Saúl 1

What do you expect on an individual and collective level for next season?

On an individual level I only hope to give my best. I know that I come from a loan period inwhich I haven't had many minutes and that I have to work hard, persevere and make a lot ofsacrifice to get a place in the team, something that is very expensive because there is a veryhigh level of competition, we have an enormously competitive team. I come with a lot ofhumility, thinking about working and helping the team in whatever way I can and fromwherever I can. I really want to show that, despite having had a complicated year, it hasbeen very good for me to improve and grow in many aspects, both sporting and personal.And as a group I hope that we continue as always, being a team that fights every game tillthe end, that doesn't give up, competes in all the tournaments and that we can give our fansa lot of joy.

I have to work hard, persevere and make a lot ofsacrifice to get a place in the team.

The fans are looking forward to seeing you again, how important is the affection theyshow you?

People love you because you give your all on the pitch, because even if sometimes thingsdon't work out for you, they identify with you if you give your all, because you are ahomegrown player and you feel the same way they do. We have a mutual affection and I'vealways been very grateful to them for their support, especially in bad times, which is themost complicated thing. We have incredible fans, who never stop cheering the team on at alltimes. Look what happened in the second leg against City. The team was eliminated andthey were cheering minutes after the end and applauding the players. I think that's whatmakes them special and that's why so many can't understand it.

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