Kalinic aims to earn Atleti place

New Atletico Madrid striker Nikola Kalinic believes he ‘must earn the right to play’ for the club but admits regular game-time may be tough.

The Croatian striker arrives at Los Rojiblancos from Milan but is not expected to dislodge the regular starting strike-force of Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann.

“Atletico have two of the best strikers in Europe,” Kalinic told reporters, as cited by Diario AS.

“Of course I already have lots of respect for them, for their skill and achievements, but there are many matches in a season and I need to earn my right to play.

“This club is all about hard work and going the extra mile, but that is why I have come here – I want to be part of this club and to win trophies.”

The striker also was quizzed about his early send-off from Croatia’s World Cup squad: “The Coach did not want me to be available so I accepted the situation.

“I did not want the medal as I was not part of the wonderful achievement, so now it is time for me to move on.”

Tags Nikola Kalinic