Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan says fans have been so good to him since his arrival that he already feels the club is his home.
The 25-year-old joined Los Rojiblancos in a €12m deal from Galatasaray last summer, making him the most expensive Turkish football transfer ever, and earned rave reviews as he helped the Madrid club to Europa League success and a top-six finish.
However, there have been reports during the close season of interest from a Russian club and even his former team Galatasaray, something Arda dismisses out of hand while saying he is perfectly happy in the Spanish capital.
“Last year I arrived at a new club and in a different country but now I feel totally at home,” he told AS.
“Perhaps I don’t speak Spanish fluently but I’m trying. I understand almost everything but football is a universal language.
“On the pitch I understand my teammates perfectly. I only have to look into their eyes.”
Arda, 25, made such an impression on Los Colchoneros’ supporters in his debut season that he is already looking to pay them back sometime in the future.
“It’s incredible. In just a year they have shown me more warmth than I could ever imagine.
“I work very hard for them so they can see the best of me. I hope within a few years my memory remains with the fans because that is my desire.”
The Turkish international also spoke of his club’s aims for the forthcoming season.
“We hope to have a good League campaign and to finish in the Champions League places because that is everyone’s objective.
“Of course, we also want to do well in the Copa del Rey and to defend our Europa League title.
“Our mentality is that we will treat every game as if it was a cup final as that is the only way to keep things on track.”