Nikola Kalinic was officially presented as Atletico Madrid’s newest number nine on Monday afternoon and he promised the fans that he intends to give it his all at the club
After a difficult season at AC Milan, the Croatian striker opted to end his three-year stay in Italy for a move to the Spanish capital with Atletico for an undisclosed fee.
Kalinic will have big boots to fill at the Wanda Metropolitano this season after being handed club legend Fernando Torres’ iconic number nine jersey following the Spaniard’s departure to Japan at the end of last season.
But Kalinic is up for the challenge and revealed just how much it means to him to join Los Rojiblancos.
“I’m going to give it my all for the team,” said the 30-year-old on the club website.
“I’ve been following Atlético for a while and I’m excited to fight for my spot.”
The Croatia international got his first taste of playing for Diego Simeone’s side in a pre-season friendly against Inter Milan at home over the weekend.
Now Kalinic is looking to make his official debut for Atletico in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup clash with city rivals Real Madrid at Estonia.
“I felt good in my first match in this magnificent stadium,” he said.
“We’re going to give it our all on Wednesday and I hope we win.”
Club president Enrique Cerezo welcomed home Atletico’s newest recruit.
“Kalinic is a talented forward, who has shown in the Italian league that he’s a great player,” Cerezo said.
“We’re sure you’re going to give it your all here. Welcome to your new home and team.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) August 13, 2018