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Aug 9, 2012

Canales wants first day revenge

Valencia midfielder Sergio Canales has immediately targeted an opening day win back at his former club, after completing a permanent move to Los Che from Real Madrid.

Canales, 21, who spent last season on loan at the Mestalla, has agreed a deal to keep him at Valencia until 2017, however Madrid retain an option to re-sign the former Racing Santander midfielder before then.

Valencia have impressed in pre-season under new coach Mauricio Pellegrino, and Canales said they were targeting a win in their La Liga opener on August 18 away at Real Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

"The way our pre-season is going, we are getting ready for a season when we expect to be very competitive," said Canales. "Our first objective is to win at the Bernabeu."

Canales blazed to prominence during the 2009-10 season with some outstanding performances and superb goals for Racing Santander and Spain's Under-19s. He then signed for Madrid for €6 million, but featured little the following year, and Real coach Jose Mourinho allowed him to leave on loan twelve months ago.

Valencia have now paid a reported €12 million transfer fee, with Madrid including an €18 million buy-back clause in the agreement.

Canales made just 11 appearances in an injury hit campaign last season, but showed enough in flashes to persuade Pellegrino and Valencia president Manuel Llorente to move now.

"I am very grateful and more motivated than ever to get back on the field and repay the effort Valencia have made for me," Canales said. "The club has shown its faith in me, and made me feel wanted here. I am only thinking about recovering fitness and helping as much as possible on the field. The fans have also been great to me at all times, and I want to repay them with my best form."

The youngster, speaking on Wednesday during the Valencia squad's traditional pre-season visit to the local Basilica of our Lady of the Defenceless, said he hoped to have better luck with injuries from here on.

"I have asked her for everything to go well and not to suffer the same injury again," Canales admitted. "I hope this season I have luck with injuries and to be able to play a good season."

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