28 year old Arda Turan has joined FC Barcelona after four seasons at Atlético Madrid and five at the club where he turned professional, Galatasaray. A versatile player with a strong physique and attacking mentality, the Turk describes his move to Catalonia as the ‘culmination of a dream’. He is still on holiday in his home country at the moment, where he spoke to fcbarcelona.com ahead of his official presentation as Barcelona’s latest signing.
For most players, playing for the Barça first team is the culmination of all their footballing dreams. What does it mean to you to form part of this club?
It means a lot to be part of FC Barcelona. It’s my dream, the reward for all the work I have done and the culmination of my career. It means everything to me.
The Barça midfield has lost Xavi, but your arrival seems to have reassured a lot of the fans. Are you ready for this challenge?
I am ready for the challenge of playing for Barça. I believe in my possibilities and those of my team-mates. I am sure that they will help me a lot to adapt.
It means a lot to me to form part of Barça
What attracted you most about becoming a Barça player?
What most attracted me to Barça is its values. It is evident that what makes this club different is its values. That’s what makes it different from other teams. As players, on and off the field, these values are the system, the aspect that the team transmits, the way they play … In short, Barça is a team on and off the pitch.
The Barça system is different to that of Simeone’s Atlético. Do you think that your style of play will adapt quickly to Luis Enrique and Barça’s game-plan?
I feel a predilection for the Barça system and that of Luis Enrique. My aim was to play here, to adapt it to my philosophy of never giving up, of always believing in myself and my team. Of fighting right to the end. I’ll do the very best I can to adapt to the system and get better day by day.
Messi is simply the best player ever
You have often spoken about Leo Messi and your admiration for him. What does it mean to you to play alongside him?
Well, what can I say about Messi? He’s simply the best player ever. I have said that in lots of interviews and I still think the same. He’s the best. It will be honour to wear the same shirt as him and play in the same team.
Who was your childhood hero?
My hero has always been Maradona, but of the current players, the answer is obviously Iniesta.
Barça is a team that tends to score a lot of goals. Do you think you can contribute to the team in that respect? You scored 43 goals for Galatasaray in five seasons, so you do have experience in that respect.
I don’t set personal targets, and it’s not a case of wanting to beat my previous stats, but with these players and this system, I am sure I’ll be able to do a lot more and improve my stats considerably. It is really important for me to integrate into the team and Luis Enrique’s system.
You were there for one of Atlético Madrid’s greatest eras. Do you think that will be a factor that will help you settle into a team that is used to winning?
I have always been fortunate enough to have seen my dreams come true and turn my objectives into realities. From now on, my aim is to win every trophy at stake next season. Why not aspire to winning all six?
I’m dreaming of winning all six trophies this season
What do you think of the new hooped Barça shirt?
I am aware of how important a shirt is for a team and all of its supporters around the world. I am very proud that one of those shirts will have my name printed on the back. I am sure that the new design will bring plenty of luck.
Do you know the city of Barcelona, and do you like it?
I love Barcelona. I was born in Istanbul, close to the sea. And from now on I will be lucky enough to be able to wake up every day near to the sea once again. But the most important way to feel comfortable in a city is to be successful in it. And I’m sure that will be the case.
Do you know any of the players in your new team?
Ivan Rakitic, because I often speak to him after games.