Real Madrid unveiled Asier Illarramendi this Saturday. The young and promising midfielder signed his contract and then put on his new uniform. Illarra -his nickname- will wear Real's number 24. He then spoke to the media in the Santiago Bernabéu Press Room, where he showed how excited he is to be a part of Real Madrid's family. Illarramendi was living in Mutriku -population 5,000-, and said that both him and his friends are really stunned by Madrid's size.
Yes, we're freaking out -laughs-. My life will change, but I'm sure that I will not. I was a little bit nervous this morning, but I'm much better now, as you can see. I want to thank Florentino Pérez for the effort he made to bring me here.
One could tell that Illarramendi never expected to join Real Madrid. But he's delighted in his new club and he will give his best from now on.
This is a very special day for me, it is such a big achievement to sign for this club. I never thought this could happen until the last few days. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I could not let go. I will do my best for Real Madrid.
Illarramendi also spoke about his last few days, where the negotiations were a little bit more intense.
Well, it's been a tough decision for me. I've been in Real Sociedad for 12 years and I'm very thankful to the club and the fans for the support I received. I want to thank my family and friends as well and I just hope to bring success and titles to this club.
Xabi Alonso has always been one of my idols. I hope to learn a lot by playing at his side. He told me this was an impressive place and now I can say that he was speaking the truth.
One journalist asked him about Ancelotti, and Illarramendi said that he had already spoken with him.
I had the opportunity to talk with him after all this was solved. He called me and congratulated me as well. Now I will need to do my best and fight for the spot. It will not be easy but we need to see how it goes.
Asier Illarramendi is finally a Real Madrid player. Welcome home, Illarra.