Arda Turan says he has fulfilled a career ambition by securing a move to Barcelona.
The Turkey midfielder’s switch from Atletico Madrid was confirmed earlier this week, albeit with a clause that enables Barcelona to sell Turan back to Atleti for 10 per cent less than the initial €34m fee agreed once a new president has been elected at Camp Nou on July 18.
If Turan does remain at Barca, he will be unable to play for Luis Enrique’s side until January – due to a FIFA ban preventing the Catalan club from registering new players in 2015.
Yet the 28-year-old’s excitement was clear as he conducted his first interview with Barca’s official website.
“It means everything to me,” said Turan. “It’s my dream, the reward for all the work I have done and the culmination of my career.
“My goal was to play here, because it adapts to my philosophy of ‘never give up’, always believe in yourself and your team; always fight to the end.
“I’ll do the very best I can to adapt to the system and get better day by day.”
The prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta is particularly enticing for Turan.
“Messi is simply the best player ever,” he added. “It will be an honour to wear the same shirt as him and play in the same team.”
Asked who his idol was as a youngster, Turan selected Diego Maradona, but added: “Of the current players, the answer is obviously Iniesta.”