(Reuters) – Danish defender Andreas Christensen said on Thursday that he was a Barcelona supporter as a child and that signing with the Spanish club was “a dream come true”.
“I grew up watching Barcelona, and Ronaldinho and Deco were my favourite players,” Christensen told a news conference after signing a contract until June 2026.
“I’m so happy and I was waiting a long time for this day to arrive. I’m very excited to get started.
“It’s true that I had other options and good teams showed interest in signing me, but when you have a dream you don’t hesitate. Dreams can come true.”
The 26-year-old centre-half left Chelsea at the end of his contract in June to join Barcelona on a free transfer with a buy-out clause set at 500 million euros ($509.40 million).
Christensen, who has 56 caps for Denmark, helped Chelsea to win the Champions League in the 2020-21 season as well as the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 2021.
“I’m very proud of my four years with Chelsea, I have won some very special trophies there. I work hard every day trying to write my own history,” Christensen said.
He said he talked to Barca’s Danish forward Martin Braithwaite and former Chelsea team mates Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta when he was negotiating his contract.
“When I discussed this possibility with them, all the comments were positive.
“They spoke very well to me about the club, the city and the Spanish culture. I wanted to be part of all of this.”
Christensen said that the winning culture and the attacking playing style were what made him support the club when he was young.
“Barca attracts me because of the way they play. I remember, specifically, Ronaldinho. The way he played… I wanted to be a striker like him,” Christensen said, adding that he was optimistic about his new club’s chances after they finished last season without a trophy.
“As players, we all want to win, that’s the main goal. I think the team and the club have this potential. This has never changed in the history of Barca.”
($1 = 0.9815 euros)
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; editing by Clare Fallon)