Andriy Lunin was formally unveiled by Real Madrid at the Bernabéu this afternoon. The teenage goalkeeper, who signed a six-year contract, was welcomed to the club by president Florentino Pérez then surprised everyone by reading out his speech in Spanish. Immediately afterwards, the Ukrainian keeper took questions from the media.
How does it feel to now be a Real Madrid player? “I'm very happy; it's the best club in the world. It's a great honour for me to be here, I'm delighted”.
What made you pick Madrid when you had other offers? “Winning is the most important thing in sport and like any sportsman, I only want to win”.
Learning from fellow goalkeepers
Which goalkeepers do you style yourself on? How would you describe yourself as a player? “There are a lot of great, strong goalkeepers in the world and I always look at every goalkeeper to try and pick out their good points to learn from”.
What is the plan now? Will you be staying or going out on loan? “Right now I'm with the team, I'm happy to be with the first team and hope to gain more experience and turn myself into a stronger goalkeeper because I have the best players in the world by my side. When the pre-season training is over, we'll make a decision on what is the best option for me”.
Has there been any Real Madrid goalkeeper who you've idolized or been influenced by? “Out of Real Madrid's keeper, Iker Casillas was the one I used to study, try to learn from and followed his development”.
Have you spoken to Lopetegui? And how did it feel stepping out onto the Bernabéu pitch? “I'm delighted to have been able to train with this team. The level of the players here is very different and I'm sure that will help me to become a stronger player. It's very difficult to describe the feeling of stepping out onto the pitch at the Bernabéu in words”.
Warm welcome: “I've been given a great welcome; we're working hard and looking forward. It's a friendly atmosphere and that's a nice ambience to be in”.
Deciding to do the speech in Spanish: “I'll try and answer that in Spanish. I am studying Spanish every day but I'm still not very good”.
Real Madrid's first Ukrainian player: “That's something I'm very proud about, it's a great honour for me and for the whole of Ukraine”.
Grateful to the national team coach
Shevchenko: “I only have words of thanks and gratitude for him for having believed in me, called me up for the national team and having given me an opportunity. We talk a lot during training sessions - he helps me and shares his experience… and he wished me the best of luck when it was announced I was coming here. For me, the most important thing is that he believed in me”.