Real Madrid have completed the signing of goalkeeper Kiko Casilla from Espanyol for a reported €6m.
The one-time Spain international, 28, has penned a five-year contract with Los Blancos and returns to the club he began his career.
Speaking at his farewell Press conference on Friday, alongside Espanyol President Joan Collet, Casilla explained: “I’ve left the club that I love, but the opportunity to join Real Madrid was unique and I wanted to take it.
“I asked the President to do everything possible [to make this happen]. I’m grateful to him and the club.
“I ask the fans to understand my situation because it’s a unique opportunity. I’ll always be a Periquito wherever they are.
“It’s great to have the opportunity of fighting [for Madrid’s No 1 jersey]. Football hasn’t been easy for me, but I’ll try to seize this opportunity.
“[Iker Casillas’] time [at Madrid] is over and I wish him well, but now it’s time for me to take my chance.
“He’s a Madrid legend and, for me, the best goalkeeper in history. There will be comparisons, but I’m used to being under pressure.
“Competition is good, but let me link up with the squad first. I haven’t spoken to anyone yet, but I’m as excited as I was when I was 14 and joined Madrid.
“[Espanyol] gave me the opportunity to be a professional footballer, and I carry them deep inside.
“Their fans are different from the others. They’re a great club, and I’m sorry that I’m leaving, but I’ll always be an Espanyol fan wherever I go. I didn’t imagine coming back to Madrid.
“Pau [Lopez] is the future of [Espanyol]. He’s very prepared to play in Espanyol’s goal, and I ask the fans to be with him through both the good and bad times.
“He’s still only a boy of 20 years, but I’m convinced he’ll be Espanyol’s goalkeeper for many years to come.”