Diego: "Atlético have always been in my heart"
After marking his return to the Atlético Madrid with a goal in the 4-0 win over Real Sociedad which sent Los Rojiblancos top of La Liga, Diego was presented as Atlético’s latest signing on Monday afternoon.
At the presentation the Brazilian talked about his love for Atlético, why he signed and his hopes for the remainder of the season.
“It's a pleasure to come back to this team, which in my heart, I never left. I'm delighted to have returned and yesterday was the best possible way to arrive: with a goal and a victory that put us top of the league. I want to thank everyone for the faith they have put in me.”
He has joined Atlético on loan from German side Wolfsburg.
"It was a difficult situation because it involved three parties. I always made it very clear I wanted to return but Wolsfburg wanted me to stay. Now that my contract there is running out, this was the ideal time. We tried to make it happen before but we couldn't, until now.”
Having left the club in 2012, he feels that the side has continued to improve in his absence.
“When I left the team were already very well organised and looked to be on the road to success, and that has been confirmed. I've watched many Atlético games, the team has grown over time and today I've re-joined a team that as even stronger still and I want to help this team to keep winning. Now this team are used to winning. They are one of the strongest teams in Europe but they still work with humility, simplicity and taking each game as it comes. It's a pleasure to be a part of this team.”
The 28-year-old also took the opportunity to outline his admiration for coach Diego Simeone.
“He was fundamental, he's the best coach I've worked with, he's helped me a lot as a player and as a person. The confidence he has in me was key to me taking this decision. I hope to be able to pay him back for this confidence.”
His new club will face rivals Real Madrid in the two-legged Copa del Rey semi-final over the coming weeks.
“Playing against Real Madrid is very difficult but we are prepared. It's a spectacular game to play in.”