"Of course for me the best step through my career in England was Newcastle. I’m not going to deny it. To be the best player of the year at the club. Many people read the rumours but the only formal offer, the only offer that was presented, the only person who was interested, who called me and wrote to me was Rafa Benitez. I obviously respect everyone’s opinion, always grateful for the messages of support and to the people who say that I am going to lose myself football-wise. I regret to tell you that you are very wrong, because I am a person who is very competitive, hard working and a fighter, I’m going to work to be where I have to be because I’m like that and I’m characterised by that.
"It is an employment relationship obviously between coach and player but I can say with total confidence that it is not very common for a coach to take you to one team and the next year to take you to another, usually that does not happen. Of course, we are talking about Rafa Benitez…a coach who has directed and won in all the places he has been. For me it’s something very special, for any player I think it would be. The truth is I’m very happy to be here, obviously thanking Benítez for the support again and the confidence he gave me last year in Newcastle and now bringing me here."