BARCELONA | TURAN
Arda: “I identify with Luis Enrique. He’s intense and aggressive”
The Turkish midfield maestro opened up during an interview on Spanish radio in which he lamented the ‘boot incident’: “That was a mistake, I was in the wrong and I’ve learned from it”.
Arda Turan was the guest of honour on Spanish radio programme Tu Diràs last night. The Turkish international, who envisioned having a more prominent role at Atlético, was full of praise for his new coach Luis Enrique: “I can really relate with him. He’s intense and aggressive”. Among other things, the bearded midfielder also spoke about the controversial image of him launching a boot at a linesman in the Vicente Calderón that sparked outrage around the world.
Facing Atlético: “It felt strange because I played with them for such a long time. They’re very special people to me and always will be. But during the game I was only thinking about helping my team”.
Atlético’s heavy-handed approach: “I’ve been on both sides of the fence and can tell you how hard it is to stop a team like ours. The Atlético Madrid and Athletic Club players have a lot of character and heart. Their playing style deserves respect. You have to play hard. As Barcelona players we have to understand that they’re going to do whatever it takes to stop us”.
The long wait to play: “It never crossed my mind to go out on loan. It was tough and I was way more nervous than Aleix. He was in his home city while I was new to town. But everyone made me feel right at home”.
Main goals: “I moved here to win the Champions League. I was one minute away from lifting the trophy with Atleti. We’ll have to wait and see if I can be the talisman who helps Barca win a second straight title”.
Luis Enrique: “I can really relate to him. He’s intense and aggressive. Barcelona have always been about football, team spirit and quality. But he adds that element of aggressiveness”.
Accusation of laziness: “I never said that I wanted to leave Atlético because I was tired of running. That’s a lie”.
The boot incident: “Throwing my boot at the linesman was a mistake, I was in the wrong and have learned from it. But I’m a very spirited player on the pitch”.