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Cillessen aiming to make life difficult for Luis Enrique at Barcelona

SoccerNews in La Liga 26 Aug 2016

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Jasper Cillessen is hoping to provide Barcelona coach Luis Enrique with a headache after completing his move to Camp Nou.

The Netherlands goalkeeper was presented by the Spanish champions on Friday after joining from Ajax and quickly set out his intention to challenge Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the number one spot.

He said: “Marc-Andre is a great goalkeeper as we all know. He has wonderful qualities and I hope to be at his level.

“We will get along well and make a good duo in goal for Barcelona, but it will be the coach who decides who plays. I can only make it harder and, although I have yet to adapt [to life at Barcelona], I hope to make it difficult for Luis Enrique.

“I have talked to him [Luis Enrique] and he told me he was pleased to see me.

“It is different playing in goal for Barca than it is Ajax, but, ultimately, it is football and the goal is the same.

“I am very happy to be here and I hope to prove my quality.”

Cillessen, who signed a five-year contract having cost Barca an initial €13million which could rise to €15m depending on variables, had a disappointing end to his Ajax career, the Amsterdammers losing their Champions League play-off 4-1 to Rostov on Wednesday.

“I arrive with bad feelings having conceded four times against Rostov, but everyone here has welcomed me warmly, especially Luis Suarez who said hello to me in Dutch which was a great gesture,” the 27-year-old added.

Cillessen is the latest in a long line of Dutch players to sign for Barca and he is hoping to maintain the good work of his predecessors, adding: “For me it is a privilege to come to Barca, a club that has historically liked the Dutch.

“It is very important for me to follow in the footsteps of [Johan] Cruyff. Knowing he was here is another incentive.”

Cillessen was signed after Claudio Bravo opted to leave for Manchester City, a decision the club’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez lamented.

“Nobody at the club wanted Claudio to go,” he said.

“We fought against it until the end, but the player asked to leave.

“We were in a difficult situation as the player would have been a free agent at the end of the season. It was a personal decision [from Bravo] and you have to accept it.”

 

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