OFFICIAL: Asier Illarramendi signs for Real Madrid | inside World Soccer

Asier Illarramendi was unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Saturday after signing a six-year contract with the Spanish giants.

Having already worked together at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola has to be favourite to snap up Thiago
Asier Illarramendi poses for photographers during his presentation as a new Real Madrid player

Photo: Real Madrid Club de Fútbol

Los Merengues signed Illarramendi from Real Sociedad after agreeing to meet the midfielder's buy-out clause, reported to be €39 million.

"This is a special day for me, it is a remarkable achievement to be able to play for this club," Illarramendi told reporters at his unveiling.

"Until a few days ago I did not know that this was possible. It is a unique opportunity and this is a big club. I will give everything for Madrid.

"The decision for me was not easy. I went to Real Sociedad as a child and appreciate all the love and support that the club and the fans have shown me.

"But to be a part of this great club is such an opportunity. I will give everything for this badge and hope that the season is full of success."

As would inevitably happen, Illarramendi was asked about another former Sociedad player Xabi Alonso.

The 23-year-old added: "Xabi is a great player, and has always been a role model for me as he also came from Real Sociedad, and now I have the chance to get to know him better by playing alongside him.

"He already told me that this was impressive and I am seeing that it is all true."

Bought for €39 million, Illarramendi is the most expensive Spanish player ever signed by Los Blancos.

Madrid president Florentino Pérez said: "Illarramendi is one of the great hopes for our football. We wanted him here and he also wanted to be here."

Illarramendi becomes Madrid's fourth signing of the summer after Isco joined from Málaga, Daniel Carvajal moved from Bayer Leverkusen, and Casemiro's loan deal from São Paulo was made permanent.


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