De Paul: ‘Atleti a big step in my career’

Rodrigo de Paul looks forward to working with Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone and said the move to the La Liga champions is ‘a big step in my career’.

De Paul has left Udinese and returned to Spain, signing a five-year deal with Atletico and the Copa America champion hopes to ‘meet all expectations’ at the Rojiblancos.

“I’m very happy, I will play for the team that won La Liga last year and I know the responsibility that entails,” the Argentine told the club’s official website. “It’s a big step in my football career, even for the moment it arrived, after winning the Copa America.

“I will try to meet all expectations. I’m a football fan and I know Atletico very well, also because I played in Spain.

“Not to mention all the friends and teammates who play here.”

De Paul mentioned his friendship with Angel Correa, who joined Atleti in January 2015.

“Correa is a great support for me. He spoke very highly to me of Atletico, of the whole club,” he said. “I’m proud to have arrived at a club with such a huge fan base.

“When the rumours started to spread about my arrival at Atletico, the comments and messages of affection that the fans sent me were countless.

“This makes me feel part of the Rojiblanco family and I’m sure it will make it easier to adapt.”

The former Udinese captain also looks forward to working with Diego Simeone at the Wanda Metropolitano.

“I’m very happy to be able to work under Simeone’s orders,” he added. “First of all, because he is one of the best.

“I love football and I live it every day, so being guided by a coach of Simeone’s caliber is something that gives me pride, even as a compatriot.

“I’m happy to be under his orders, because as a child I saw him playing with the Argentine national team.”