Kieran Trippier sits down to talk about his new life in Spain!
HI KIERAN, You're ONLY the second Englishman to play for Atletico Madrid IN 95 YEARS!
Kieran says: "I hope more come. It's a privilege to be at this great club and I want to achieve great things here and help the team to have a good season!"
HOW ARE YOU SETTLING IN?
Kieran says: "There aren't many English players in Spain. The language can be difficult but it's a challenge that I've accepted. To come here and to soak up the culture, the language is the main reason I came, so speaking Spanish is a priority for me!"
HOW IS THAT GOING?
Kieran says: "My Spanish isn't as bad as when I arrived, but it's difficult. I have three classes a week and a teacher who comes to my house and gives me homework. I really enjoy it and want to learn as quickly as possible. I push myself to learn it because I want to improve my communication with my teammates and get involved more, but I know it takes time."
Do you understand Diego Simeone and his staff's way of speaking?
Kieran says: "Well, they [the South Americans] speak very fast. But I understand the words I know [when they use them]. It's important to come to a team with players from a lot of different countries; they help you!"
HOW ARE THINGS ON THE PITCH?
Kieran says: "With [Mauricio] Pochettino I worked very hard and it's the same here. I've always watched [Atletico] in the Champions League and in La Liga and I knew how they worked. I was in good shape when I came, I wanted to work, learn and try my best and that's all I can do!"
under Simeone, Antoine Griezmann needed four months and some others never settled!
Kieran says: "It's all about training. As a player you want to adapt as quickly as possible and I think I've done that. I follow the instructions of the coaching staff and give 100 percent in every training session and match. I like improving and I think I'm at the best team to get better!"
What has surprised you most about Atletico?
Kieran says: "How close everyone is. From the staff to the players. Sometimes you don't see that in England, but this club is like a family. For me it's important to be part of it and I'm very happy!"
Simeone squeezes his defence heavily. Do you feel extra pressure?
Kieran says: "I've seen for years that Atletico have the best defence and I wanted to be part of it. We work extremely hard in training to get results. I'm ready to learn and am hopeful for the future."
It's incredible SPURS didn't fight to keep you!
Kieran says: "As a footballer you know when you need to move. It was a good decision for me, but coming to Atletico was easy. I feel it's the best place for me to progress as a player, with the best coach to play under and learn from!"
You came through with Man. City, but you really cut your teeth in the English second tier...
Kieran says: "I didn't play for City, so I soon left. I didn't have chances and I realised I had to leave because I wanted to play football. I was in the Championship for a few years and believed I could reach the highest level. I was patient, waited for opportunities and I reached the Premier League. Now I'm happy to be at Atletico and I'm very happy with my career. I wouldn't change it."
Despite starting with City, you grew up admiring David Beckham!
Kieran says: "Yes, for everything he did in his career. With Man. United, England and Real Madrid. His goals and his free-kicks helped more than any advice I received when I was young. I always wanted to be like him and he's the only person I could say is my idol!"
You've managed to hit the ball like your idol...
Kieran says: "People say that, but I don't hit it like he did. I wouldn't even try it. He was excellent!"
Beckham believes it – he congratulated you after scoring against Croatia in the World Cup semi!
Kieran says: "Yeah, I spoke to him before the game and he congratulated me for reaching the semi-finals. Although the result was a disappointment, I was happy with how we played."
Was it a childhood dream fulfilled?
Kieran says: "It was special to receive a message from Beckham. It was also a pleasure when I met him before playing for Tottenham and we shared some words!"
How did you learn to hit the ball so precisely?
Kieran says: "I practised different techniques from when I was young at City. My coach taught me after sessions, and we spent hours working on dead balls."
You're already in charge of dead balls here...
Kieran says: "There are a lot of us. Koke is very good, [Thomas] Lemar, Thomas [Partey]... Every chance I have, I try to do my best to assist my teammates and create a [goalscoring] opportunity. We have a lot of good assist makers in this team!"
You've already given two assists...
Kieran says: "Yeah, the first gave us a draw against Juventus and then one for [Alvaro] Morata in the league opener. Every time I play, I want to create as many chances as I can!"
Is your dream now to win your first trophy?
Kieran says: "Of course. I was close with Tottenham and my goal at Atletico is to do my best to help. We're not looking too far away; we're focused on the next game, and game by game we'll see where we are at the end of the season."
Atletico have already lost two UCL finals and you lost one last year. Is it an obsession?
Kieran says: "Of course. I want to play in the Champions League. It was a major disappointment to lose the final, but we have a good team [at Atletico] and a good chance again this season. I wouldn't say it's an obsession, but I'd love to play in a final again."
People say Atletico are boring...
Kieran says: "No, we have a great team with a strong defence, and you can see the forwards we have. We're offensive and play attractive football, so I don't listen to what people on the outside say. I focus on my teammates, what the coach wants and winning games, that's what's important."
Simeone warned after the draw on Saturday that all was left to do was to work harder...
Kieran says: "When I came for pre-season, I soon realised how hard you have to work under Simeone. I saw the demand he put on his players. To play for him you have to work extremely hard, and I'm willing to do it!"
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