23rd July, 2021
FC Barcelona officially presented striker Memphis Depay to the press on Thursday in an event at the Camp Nou Stadium.
The presentation happened two days after Depay arrived in Barcelona to put pen to paper on his new deal.
“It’s an honour to be here,” Memphis said in a press conference at his unveiling.
“It’s a dream come true since I was a little boy.
“It’s been a long negotiation but the will has always been to play here.
“Thanks to the president and the entire board for making it possible.”
He also credited Ronald Koeman for the role that he has played in his development in recent years, although he added that his move did not depend on the coach being in the dugout.
“I also want to thank the coach.”
“[Koeman] played me as a center-forward,” he said.
“He made me feel very comfortable and I must thank him for all that.
“I would have come even if he wasn’t here because you can’t say no to Barcelona. I would have still come, but it’s also certain that he has had a big impact.
He went on to lavish praise on Lionel Messi and declared how much he was looking forward to playing alongside him.
“It is a dream [to play with Messi],” he said.
“He is a legend and I don’t need to say too much else. The best player in the world.
“Did you see what he did in the Copa America?
“I am really looking forward to playing with Leo [Messi] and his qualities are clear.
“I am a big fan.”
The Dutch international has joined Barca on a two-year deal from the French side Olympique Lyon and has the release clause on his contract set at 500 million euros.
Depay comes to Barcelona at the personal request of Barca coach Ronald Koeman, who has previously worked with him at the Dutch national team.
He is one of the most important of the club’s new arrivals, who also include Kun Aguero and Eric Garcia from Manchester City and defender Emerson Royale from Real Betis.
However,tThe club still has to confirm that star striker Leo Messi has signed a new contract after his old deal expired at the end of June.
In the past few days, French international Antoine Griezmann has been linked with a possible return to Atletico Madrid as Barca look to lower their wage bill.
The move is to help the Spanish giants in meeting financial fair play requirements.