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Fran García: “Carvajal is a role model for the academy youngsters, I hope to have a career like his”

The new left-back had his introductory press conference on Monday.

RCD Mallorca v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga Santander Photo by Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s new left-back Fran García has spoken about his return to the club, as he was officially presented as a new signing at Valdebebas on Monday. The 23-year-old gave his first press conference since returning, while he also addressed the club directors and members.

Speaking first at the podium, he stated: “For me, this is a really happy moment to return to my home, where I took my first steps as a player. I’m proud to be able to return and keep growing here. I hope we can keep making history at this incredible club. Thanks, and Hala Madrid.”

Fran García on returning to the club

The player then appeared in the press room at Valdebebas and answered several questions, the first of which was about how he feels to return after having left. He replied: “I feel proud to know that the work I did and the journey I embarked on has paid off. It was like going away to do military service, before coming back. Today is a dream come true, something I’ve been pursuing for a long time. I’m just very happy that I’ve had this opportunity to return. I’m very grateful to Rayo Vallecano, because that’s the club that allowed me to take my first steps as a professional. I think I grew a lot as a person at Rayo, while I also developed a strong mentality while I was at the Real Madrid academy. I have a lot of things I’ll work to keep improving on.”

Fran García on the January transfer rumours

There were many rumours during the winter transfer market about Fran García and, asked about those, he said: “The winter market was quite busy and there was a lot of interest, but Real Madrid had the primary option. That’s how it worked out. I’m also glad I could finish the season at Rayo Vallecano, where we had a special season.”

Fran García on the example of Carvajal

Dani Carvajal is one of the few players who has left the academy before returning and establishing himself as a starter. On following that example, Fran García said: “Obviously Carvajal is a role model for all the academy youngsters. I hope I can have a career like he has had, although everyone’s path and career is different.”

Fran García on the lack of academy players in the first team

Asked if he can explain why so few academy players make it to the first team and manage to hold down a place in the first-team squad, he replied: “I don’t think you can criticise the club’s decisions because it is the number one club in the world. I watched the Castilla game yesterday and I was very happy for them. You can see the great work being done at the academy.”

Fran García on playing with Vinícius

Asked how he thinks he’ll do linking up with Vinícius on the left, he simply replied: “We all know how good Vinícius is and I’ll try to do my best, for me and for the team. I’ll try to win as many titles as possible.”

Fran García on his Real Madrid idols

Discussing his left-back idols, the Spaniard said: “I was lucky enough to train with Marcelo when I was here before, so I really admire him. He helped me a lot, even though I was just a young player making my way. I also admire Roberto Carlos, who has also been around during my journey through the academy.”

Fran García on competing with Mendy

Asked about Ferland Mendy and if he thinks he is ready to compete with the Frenchman, the youngster said: “Mendy is an incredible player and he has shown that during his time here. I just come here to do what I can for the team. I’m not coming in to compete with anybody, I’m coming to grow and help where I can. I’ll give all I have.”

Fran García on Ancelotti

He revealed that he spoke a little with Carlo Ancelotti after the recent Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano game towards the end of the season. On that, he recalled: “The only time I spoke with the coach was after the match we played and he told that within a month we’d see each other at Valdebebas. He congratulated me for my performance and I’m grateful for his words.”

Florentino Pérez’s speech about Fran García

At the presentation of the new left-back, Florentino Pérez also said some words. The president stated: “As Madridistas, we always look forward to the arrival of new players who are going to form part of our first team. We have just concluded the season with three new trophies, but we can’t become complacent and that is why we work to always try to build the best and most competitive team to face new challenges. We need to bring in young players who have shown that they are the present and the future of our club, such as the one arriving today. He also has the special characteristic of being a former academy player. Today, we welcome Fran García.”

The president then turned to the young full-back, addressing him directly by stating: “Welcome back to your Real Madrid, your home. I’m sure you will always remember when you arrived as a child, at just 14 years of age, with the dream of one day being a Real Madrid player. You also developed outside our club, at a club that is a friend in Rayo Vallecano. There, you have become one of the best defenders in our country at the age of 23. You played the most minutes in the season that has just ended. The Madridistas who have watched you grow up feel very proud that you are wearing our shirt again. That fanbase, the best in the world, will support you here and also demand you give everything for this club. Never forget that for millions of people, Real Madrid is very important in their lives. Congratulations on reaching the first team of Real Madrid, the most loved and admired club in the world. Good luck for this next stage, for which you have worked so hard.”

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