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Tchouaméni: “When I watched the comebacks vs PSG, Chelsea and City, I told my agent to make this transfer happen”

The main quotes from Tchouaméni’s introductory press conference.

Aurelien Tchouameni Press Conference - Real Madrid Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Aurélien Tchouaméni was officially presented as a Real Madrid player at Valdebebas on Tuesday and he spoke in impressive Spanish to start off his career at Los Blancos. Speaking the local language, the Frenchman told the audience: “Hi everyone, I’m very happy to be here to start my story with Real Madrid, the best club in the world. I’ll work hard to win many more titles for this club. Thanks to the president and my agent and my family. Hala Madrid!”

Later, Tchouaméni answered questions from the media in an introductory press conference, speaking Spanish on occasion there too, although mostly in his native French. He discussed a number of subjects, which are all outlined below.

Tchouaméni on picking Real Madrid over PSG

The first line of questioning was about what made him pick Real Madrid over PSG. To that, the 22-year-old said: “I did speak to other clubs, but I was always hoping Real Madrid would make an approach too. So, I could have signed for other clubs, but I didn’t hesitate for a second when Real Madrid did become interested. At that point, I explicitly asked my agent to make this move happen. I want to make my mark on football and I think the best club to do that is Real Madrid, the biggest club in the world. Maybe going to other clubs I’d have had more minutes and then more of a guarantee of going to the World Cup, but I am looking forward to this challenge.”

The youngster also shared an anecdote about how keen he was to come to the Spanish capital, revealing: “I was already negotiating with Real Madrid and other teams by the time of the Champions League final. When I was watching the comebacks against PSG, City or Chelsea, I really wanted to come here and wrote to my agent, asking him to do all he could.”

He was then asked if Kylian Mbappé had tried to persuade him to join PSG instead, to which Tchouaméni replied: “Kylian decided to stay at PSG and I knew I was going to leave Monaco. He asked if I would go to PSG, but Real Madrid was always the first option for me and he respected that.”

Tchouaméni on the competition and what he can offer

It won’t be easy to secure minutes at Real Madrid, which the player himself stated. On that challenge, he added: “Obviously there is a lot of competition because Real Madrid have the best players in the world, but I think I can contribute. I can recover balls with intelligence and physicality. I have usually played in a double pivot, but maybe my position would be a No.6 in Real Madrid’s 4-3-3, which I have done before. Although, maybe I could play as a No.8 too. For me, it’s no problem where I play.”

Tchouaméni on his idols and references

Discussing the athletes that have inspired him, Tchouaméni said: “When I was young and watched Real Madrid, I loved the players who played as defensive midfield for Real Madrid, like Casemiro, who has had an incredible career. But, I’ll try to write my own story. Obviously Zidane is a legend at Real Madrid and for France. He played some incredible matches. Then, I’ve really followed Benzema’s career. As a Frenchman, Zidane and Karim are my idols.”

He then continued: “I also love the American culture and would watch videos of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. They always sought perfection in their game. So, I know I can’t have success by doing the minimum. So, I always work to the maximum.”

Tchouaméni on Benzema and Camavinga’s advice

Asked what advice he has received from his club and international teammates during the most recent international camp, he said: “I’ve been able to speak to Karim and Camavinga. I’ve even been able to see how Camavinga has improved this season after arriving at the biggest club in the world last year. When things progressed in the negotiations, Karim messaged me to tell me how things work here and to ask if I needed anything.”

Carlo Ancelotti wrote to the player too. He revealed: “Yes, I spoke with the coach during the negotiations and after. He was very kind. He told me that if I wanted to keep learning and growing then I should come to Real Madrid.”

Tchouaméni on Cesc Fàbregas’ advice

He also opened up on his relationship with Cesc Fàbregas, who took Tchouaméni under his wing at Monaco. The 22-year-old explained: “I developed a good relationship with him and he gave me good advice. The first thing he taught me was about how to go forward immediately after winning the ball back, because that might be when the opposition isn’t ready. He also taught me how to think about what to do before the ball reached my feet. I think I’m now at the best club to keep working on these things.”

Tchouaméni on the transfer fee

Asked if he feels pressure because of the high transfer fee, Tchouaméni said that he doesn’t stating: “Sincerely, the price of the transfer doesn’t worry me. I’ll try to the best on the pitch, but the price paid between the clubs is something that comes down to them and to the current state of the transfer market. But, the price doesn’t interest me.”

Tchouaméni on the No.18 shirt

The midfielder will wear the No.18 jersey and explained that he’d have picked No.8 if it had been free. He said: “I have played with the No.8 a lot during my youth, club and international career. But, that’s Kroos’ number, so I asked which numbers were available when I arrived and they said the No.18, which is the most similar.”

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