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Mandi: “When Villarreal call you, you don’t think twice”
Mandi: “When Villarreal call you, you don’t think twice”

The Algerian defender was officially presented this afternoon at the Training Ground, alongside vice-president José Manuel Llaneza

The official presentation of Aïssa Mandi as a Villarreal player took place at the press room at the Villarreal CF Training Ground (Ciudad Deportiva). The new Yellows centre-back underlined how pleased he was to have joined the club: “I would like to thank the whole club for the welcome. After a week here, I am very happy and I hope to be able to give my best level to be at the club for a number of years,” underlined the Algerian, who added that he is already feeling comfortable in the team: “Thanks to all my team-mates for how they’ve welcomed me. I’m very happy in training and in the dressing room.”

The new Villarreal signing confessed that he did not think twice about signing for the Yellows: “It was not easy to sign for another club during the season, but when Villarreal call you, you don’t have to think about it a lot. I want consistency and I want to play in Europe every year. When my agent told me about the interest, I didn’t think twice and everything happened quickly.”

Mandi also shared his personal objectives with Villarreal, which involve “playing as many games at the highest level possible”, despite being aware of the competition he will have: “Pau, Albiol, Funes Mori and Foyth were very good last year. When you come to a big club, you need to fight for your place and Villarreal is a big club. I knew that I would have to fight before getting here.”

Mandi also spoke about the next big challenge for Villarreal, which is the UEFA Super Cup: “We have seven games to get ready for it. It’s an important title and we are going to prepare ourselves in order to win.” To do so, the Submarine have a demanding pre-season ahead of them, which excites the player: “There are a lot of pre-season games and that is good. I am going to learn about my team-mates and playing alongside them before this special match.” The centre-back also had a message for the fans: “We need them to get behind the team when we need them. We are very happy to see fans coming back to be part of football. We are going to have a lot of fun.”

Finally, Villarreal vice-president José Manuel Llaneza had some nice words about Mandi: “We’re really pleased to have you with us. We hope that you have four great years, with extra-time and penalties, and should you be here for more years, that will be great news for both parties. We know you are committed and professional, and we want you to help us continue on that path. Llaneza also spoke about what he hoped for the upcoming season: “The expectations are the same as always. Get 42 points as soon as possible, hopefully in December or January, to increase our expectations.”