Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin said he is proud to take over as the club’s captain after having turned down interest from other clubs.
After competing in the World Cup with Uruguay, Godin reportedly considered a move to Juventus, and Manchester United made a late attempt to sign him on the Premier League’s deadline day.
Ahead of the UEFA season curtain-raiser in Tallinn, Estonia, Godin will replace midfielder Gabi Fernandez, who joined Al-Sadd, as Atletico’s captain, with Antoine Griezmann becoming one of the team’s vice-captains.
“I am happy and proud, and above all, I feel a lot of responsibility wearing the armband of this team, with teammates I’ve been working together with for so long, and the coaches too,” Godin said at a news conference at the Lillekulla Stadium.
Godin denied recent reports that he had agreed a new contract with Atletico until June 2021, but did admit to hearing from other clubs.
“I’ve not renewed my contract,” he told beinSPORTS. “I’ve rejected many offers to stay here, for personal reasons, but I have not renewed.”
After Griezmann decided against moving to Barcelona earlier in the summer, Atletico have spent €120 million on new players, leading to much optimism around the club ahead of a season in which the Champions League final will be played at their Wanda Metropolitano home.
“It is clear that the Champions League is the great dream of everyone at this club,” Godin said. “This season we aim to keep improving, like we do every year. We are preparing well, with new teammates who will improve the team and make us stronger. We are very optimistic, very excited, for sure.”