New Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia says he is ready to battle Thibaut Courtois for the No 1 jersey at the Vicente Calderon.
The experienced 33-year-old has joined Los Rojiblancos from Deportivo de La Coruna, where he spent the last five seasons, and was presented at the club’s VIP suite alongside President Enrique Cerezo and director of football Jose Luis Caminero on Saturday night.
“This is a club where any footballer would want to play and so far everything has gone really well. I’ve been here three or four days and the atmosphere is great, which is the key to winning, and Atleti’s success is based on that,” he told gathered reporters.
Aranzubia is aware Courtois has made the goalkeeper’s jersey his own since arriving on loan from Chelsea two years ago, but forcing his way into Diego Simeone’s starting line-up is a challenge he is ready to take on.
“I know what Thibaut means to Atletico and what he’s achieved but I just want there to be some competition for him. I’m a born worker and I’ll fight for a place.
“When he goes back to Chelsea? I don’t look beyond tomorrow. I’m focused on training well and not looking beyond that,” he declared.
Atletico open their La Liga game with a trip to the Sanchez Pizjuan to face Sevilla on Sunday night, a game Aranzubia says is going to be difficult.
“We’ve got to win and will do everything possible, but Sevilla are a very competitive side with the same goals as us and going there will be tough.”
Aranzubia shot to fame in Spain on February 20, 2011 when he scored a header from a 95th-minute corner at Almeria, becoming the first goalkeeper in La Liga history to score a goal from open play.