Sissoko 'very proud' to be a Spurs player
Wed 31 August 2016, 23:59|Tottenham Hotspur
Moussa Sissoko cannot wait to finally taste Champions League football after his transfer deadline day move to the Club.
The powerful midfielder left the French national team’s training camp ahead of this week’s match against Italy to seal his switch from Newcastle United on Wednesday.
Now that he’s a Spurs player, the 27-year-old is eyeing a successful first campaign under Mauricio Pochettino – one that presents him with the chance to continue producing the goods in the Premier League as well as a long-desired opportunity to operate at European football’s top table.
“I’m very happy, very proud to be here,” smiled the all-action star, who played in Champions League qualifying for first club Toulouse in 2007 but ultimately missed out on the main part of the competition.
“I am in the prime of my career and I want to play for a big team, I have the chance now with Tottenham so I’m looking forward and I hope we will do well in the Premier League and in the Champions League also. I’ve said a lot of times that I want to play in the Champions League so that’s one of the reasons why I came here – to have the possibility and the chance to play this year.
“I will fight every day at the training ground and then in the games and give my best for this team. I hope we will all do well together.”
Another factor contributing to Moussa’s desire to join us was a certain Hugo Lloris. His captain at international level, the midfielder is thrilled he’s now able to call Hugo his skipper on the domestic scene too.
“He’s a good friend for me,” Moussa explained. “When we are with the national team we speak a lot, we laugh a lot. He’s a great player and when he spoke to me about this club he told me that it’s amazing and everything is here for me to play some good games and to fight with the best teams in England. Today I’m happy and he’s happy because we will play together in the Premier League.”
Born in Le Blanc-Mesnil, in a suburb of Paris, Moussa discovered his passion for football from a very early age and after playing youth football in his local area, he joined the academy at Toulouse at the age of 13, turning professional during the 2006-07 season and making his senior debut in Ligue 1 against FC Valenciennes at the beginning of the following campaign.
“When I was younger I used to go to the local stadium with my uncle,” he recalled. “I was five years old and he saw I liked football so I asked him to put me in a team. There was one team not far from my house and it was then that I started to learn football. After that, at eight or nine years old, I said I wanted to be a professional so I worked hard and gave everything to sign for a professional team. I had the chance to go to Toulouse, I spent some great years there and then as you know I went to Newcastle. Now I’m here at an amazing place with amazing fans and an amazing manager so everything is good. It’s a dream come true and I’m very happy.”
Capable of operating in both attacking and defensive midfield roles, Moussa is excited at the prospect of playing under Mauricio Pochettino: “He’s a good manager, I know him from a long time ago. I saw him at Southampton, I’ve seen what he’s doing here and it’s fantastic so I spoke with him, he told me he likes me and he likes how I play. He wanted me to come here and I hope he will help me to progress again. We will work well together as we have the same objectives. I like to run forward, I like power and I have a lot of energy which I can bring to the team. I am happy to be here at this big club and I hope we will all have a good season.”
Moussa will now link back up with the France squad ahead of Thursday night’s friendly in Italy and their opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Belarus on Monday.
“This morning (Wednesday) I spoke with the France manager and told him that I needed to go to sign my contract for my club,” he explained. “He allowed me to leave so I came here and I had the chance to sign so I’m very happy and now I will be focused for the match against Italy because it’s a massive game. After that we have another game against Belarus which we need to win because we want to reach the World Cup.
“At club level, for me, the English league is the best league in the world. When I was younger I wanted to come here. I signed for Newcastle, I spent three-and-a-half years there, everything was good and now I have the chance to come here and continue my progress. I will try to help the team, bring my game and give everything for this club.”
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