Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan has reaffirmed his love for the club and said recent stories in the Turkish media claiming he wished to leave for a “big club” were mistaken.
An interview Arda gave to CNN Turkey during the winter break, where he talked of playing for a team capable of winning the Champions League, was widely reported back in Spain as revealing his intention to leave Atletico. This came just weeks after his agent Ahmet Bulut was quoted in December as saying his client would move on next summer.
The former Galatasaray player, who joined Atletico in the summer of 2011 for €13 million and won a Europa League medal in his first season in Spain, has become a firm favourite at the Vicente Calderon, and has a more central role this season after Diego's departure last summer.
Arda said after training on Tuesday that the recent reports were based on poor translations and that he was fully committed to Atletico.
“I did not say anything like that,” Arda said. “That was not my intention and it was exaggerated. I never said Atletico is not a big club. This is my home. The team and fans, we are a family. I am very happy. If I still had doubts I would not be here.”
Arda also expressed his annoyance that his comments had been taken way out of context.
“I was only speaking about my dreams as a boy,” he said. “I did not know there would be so much uproar. The only thing that annoys me is the idea that they accuse me of saying Atletico is not a big club. I love this club and its fans. Madrid and Barca have their fans when they win, but ours would never leave us.”
Barcelona’s stumble at Real Sociedad last weekend, coupled with an 11th successive home league win for Atletico, cut the gap between first and second in the La Liga table to eight points. And Arda believes there is no reason why Diego Simeone’s side could not win the title.
“La Liga?,” he said. “Why not? We are dreaming about it. This team is very good. The club deserves to be fighting for the title. But we must go from game to game.”