Arda Turan says that he is champing at the bit to play alongside his “idol” at Barcelona, Andres Iniesta.
The Spanish champions unveiled their big summer signing on Friday morning following his 34million euro transfer from Atletico Madrid.
“I always said (Leo) Messi is the best,” Turan said to the Spanish press at the Camp Nou. “But my idol is Iniesta. I can’t wait to play with him.”
One player Turan will not go into battle with is Xavi Hernandez because the long-time captain left Barca last month for Qatari side Al Sadd after 24 years with the Catalan giants.
“No one can replace Xavi,” he said. “I am here to give all that I have but I’m not here to equal Xavi. Xavi is a world football icon and will always be a symbol of Barça.”
The Turkey captain, who was a reported target of several top Premier League clubs, has signed a five-year contract with Barça.
“Everyone who knows me, knows that ever since I was a boy I always aspired to play for Barcelona,” Turan said. “This is the best club in the world and I am delighted to be here. It’s a dream for me. I had many offers but once I got Barça’s, I put the others to the side.”
Turan will not be able to play an official game for Barça until January 2016. That is when the club’s transfer ban, imposed for breaching rules regarding the signing of under-age players, comes to an end. “It will be hard not to play for six months,” he said.
“The only thing I want is to adapt to the team as soon as possible. (Barça coach) Luis Enrique really wanted me and that makes me very happy. I’m going to do everything I can to repay that trust.”
“I want to win every title with Barça,” Turan said. “I’m joining a great side.”
Turan made it clear that Atletico will have a special place in his heart. He joined the Madrid side in 2011 from Galatasaray and won a UEFA Europa League title, a Copa del Rey cup and La Liga with the Rojiblancos.
“I want to thank Atletico because if I’m here is also partly down to their work,” Turan said.