Football: High expectations for Real Madrid's Illarra
MADRID, Community of Madrid (AFP) - Real Madrid on Saturday presented their new 32 million-euro (S$52.7 million) signing Asier Illarramendi, warning him that the fans had high expectations of the new-look team.
Club president Florentino Perez hailed the 23-year-old Basque as "one of the brightest hopes of Spanish football", following his role in Spain's victory in the European under-21 championships.
"You will be playing in front of a home crowd that is demanding but unique. These supporters will give their all and they will demand that you do too," Perez told the former Real Sociedad midfielder.
Real Madrid surprised "Illarra" by headhunting him from his boyhood team earlier this month. "A few days ago I would never have dreamt that I would wear a different shirt from that of Real Sociedad," he said on Saturday. "This is a unique opportunity for me. I will give everything I have for these colours."