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Brahim Díaz: “I’ve grown a lot during my three years in Milan, on the pitch and off it”

The player’s first words since sealing his return to Real Madrid.

Brahim Diaz of AC Milan looks on during the Serie A... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

There was another player presentation at Valdebebas on Tuesday. After Fran García was unveiled on Monday, Tuesday was the turn of Brahim Díaz. As he was presented to the club directors and members, he took to the podium and started off by saying: “I know what this shirt means and what it’s like to represent Real Madrid. It’s emotional. I feel like I’m returning more prepared, keen to prove myself and keen for the ball to start rolling. I want the demands of Real Madrid, the best club in the world, to mark my daily routine. Hala Madrid.”

Brahim Díaz on his time in Milan

The 23-year-old then had a press conference and, discussing his three years in AC Milan and the opportunity to return to Real Madrid, he said: “I’m really grateful to AC Milan. I was happy there and felt loved there, but at the end of the season this opportunity to return came up. Real Madrid was always my preferred option for where I wanted to play if I left. Those three years helped me a lot. I’ve grown a lot, on the pitch and off it. I think you’ll see a Brahim who has improved a lot and who is very motivated. This is why I’m back. I want to have success here at the greatest club in the world. Today is one of the happiest days of my life.”

Brahim Díaz on the pressure of replacing Benzema and Asensio

It was put to Brahim that Real Madrid are going through a major transition with the departures of Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, as well as those of Eden Hazard and Mariano, but also that he’ll have to compete with some great players for minutes. He said: “Of course the competition is there, with the best players in the world forming part of this squad. I’ll work hard and be humble and try to learn from the players here. There is pressure, but that’s good. It’s Real Madrid. Pressure can help you give the best of yourself. I’ll try to represent Real Madrid the best way I can.”

Brahim Díaz on competing with Rodrygo

Asked specifically about Rodrygo and the fact those two players will likely be competing for a spot on the right, the Spaniard said: “It’s not about fighting with each other for minutes. We have to be teammates and do the best for Real Madrid. We’ll each try to give the best of ourselves. Rodrygo is a great player and I get on quite well with him.”

Brahim Díaz on his favourite position

Asked what his favourite position is, he replied: “I’m lucky to be able to play with both feet, which helps me. I’ve always said my favoured position is where the coach puts me. I can play in attack or in midfield or on the wing. But, honestly, I’ll be happy with wherever the coach puts me.”

Brahim Díaz on playing for Spain

Asked if being at Real Madrid will improve his chances of making the Spain squad, he said: “It’s always a matter of pride to play for your country, but I don’t want to speak about that right now. I want to focus on returning to Real Madrid. If you do well on the pitch, opportunities always come up.”

Brahim Díaz on Ancelotti

He revealed that he hasn’t yet spoken with Carlo Ancelotti, explaining: “I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I’m sure I will over these next few days. I’m excited to be able to work with him.”

Brahim Díaz on the differences between England, Spain and Italy

Over his short career, Brahim Díaz has played with Manchester City, Real Madrid and AC Milan. Asked for his thoughts on the differences between the style of football in each country, he said: “I’ve learned a lot in each league where I’ve played. Maybe the Premier League is a bit more physical, while LaLiga is more technical and Italy is more tactical. This has helped me grow.”

Brahim Díaz on the Mbappé rumours

He was also asked about the prospect of Kylian Mbappé joining Real Madrid, to which he said: “I don’t think it’s the moment to speak about this. I expected that question. But, this is my day. I think we need to respect the player and his current club. Today’s not the day to talk about that.”

Florentino Pérez’s speech about Brahim Díaz

Florentino Pérez also spoke at the presentation of Brahim Díaz, stating: “Today is another moment of joy for Madridistas, as we’re welcoming another great player, whose quality, talent and desire to succeed at Real Madrid will make us even stronger. Our objective is to continue improving this squad, made up of great players and also Madridistas at heart. We keep working to make our story even greater, as Real Madrid want to keep on winning. That is why this is the most loved and admired club in the world. To help us make the squad even stronger, we today welcome a player with the talent and quality to triumph in our shirt. Today, one of our own, Brahim Díaz, returns.”

Pérez then turned to addressed the player directly, continuing: “Brahim, welcome back to your home. I know what this moment means to you and your family. From the first day you arrived at Real Madrid in January 2019, you made it very clear that your dream was, and still is, to form part of the history of this club. You have had the strength and courage to want to show off your football, your work and your ambition away from here. Now you are returning home after leaving a great mark at one of the most important and legendary clubs in the world, AC Milan. It is very difficult to achieve what you have achieved, to help them win Serie A again in 2022. Today you are starting a new chapter full of excitement and great emotions and our fans will be with you all the way. They will give you everything because we know how hard you have fought to wear this shirt again. You already know what it’s like to handle the enormous pressure of Real Madrid, but you also know that our values will always help you to overcome the most difficult moments. We Madridistas will enjoy your football and your magic.”

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