After completing his move to the Blues from Fiorentina, Spanish defender Marcos Alonso sat down with the club’s official website to conduct his first interview as a Chelsea player.
The 25-year-old, who has previous Premier League experience, was visibly delighted to have moved to Stamford Bridge and spoke about personal development, being part of a prestigious footballing family and his targets for the season ahead.
So, back to England and the Premier League…
Yes, I’ve always said the Premier League is the best league in the world. The fans and the stadiums over here are amazing so I just can’t wait to make my Chelsea debut and play for the team.
Have you had a chance to speak to Antonio Conte yet?
Yes, I’ve spoken to him. For both of us being at Chelsea is a new challenge but I’m going to work very hard and hopefully I can help the team win many matches.
He must have seen you play quite a lot when you were at Fiorentina...
Yes, we played a few games against each other, me as a player and him as a manager and now I’m excited about working with him.
How would you describe your playing style?
I’ve played in different positions over the last few years due to a change in managers and systems, but I’ve always played mainly as a left-back, even if I can also play in left midfield or in central defence.
My main aim is to defend well and I would say that’s my biggest attribute, but I also like to help the team in attack. I’m tall so I can deal with high balls and I think I’m a good crosser, but the most important thing is to try to put all of that together in order to help the team.
You have plenty of Premier League experience following spells at Bolton and Sunderland - and you have played at Stamford Bridge including in a pre-season game with Fiorentina - will that benefit you in terms of settling quickly?
Definitely. It’s not easy when you move to a new country because of the changes in culture and language but I’ve been here before so I don’t think that will be a problem.
How would you say your game has developed since you last played in England?
I’ve improved a lot in the last two years. Italy is like a masterclass for defenders. I used to play for Real Madrid and because you rarely had to defend there I used to work more on my attacking qualities, but in Italy I’ve improved defensively and also mentally.
During your time at Bolton you played with Gary Cahill. Have you been impressed with the career he’s gone on to have since you were team-mates?
From my first day at Bolton you could see he was a great player so I’m very happy for him and what he’s gone on to achieve, I’m pleased to have a chance to play alongside him again.
As well as England, you’ve also played in Italy and Spain previously – how does the Premier League differ from Serie A and La Liga?
I think it’s more entertaining. In recent years they have all become quite similar but for the fans, the Premier League is the best in terms of the matches they see.
You come from a big football family, with both your father and grandfather having represented Spain, tell us a bit about that…
My grandfather (known as Marquitos) won five European Cups with Real Madrid and my father (Marcos Alonso Pena) played for Barcelona for a long time. They both played for the Spanish national team as well so as a family we’ve always breathed football.
Over the last two years at Fiorentina you established yourself as one of the best left-backs in the league – how do you think moving to Chelsea will take your game on to an even higher level?
Chelsea is a step up, there is no doubt about it. It’s the next chapter in my career but I need to keep working hard and doing well if I want to be one of the best left-backs in the world.
At Fiorentina you’ve played as a full-back, wing-back and as part of a three-man defence. Could you just explain how your role changed at various times…
It’s all about managers. Some managers, depending on the players they have, like to change systems. I’ve learnt a lot in Italy about tactics, it’s something they work on a lot and I’m sure Antonio is the same. I’m ready and it’s good for me if I can play in more than one position because it’s helpful for the team.
We already have one Spanish full-back here in Cesar Azpilicueta – is he a player you admire?
Of course, he’s a great defender for the Spain national team. You always want to learn from your team-mates so I will try to do that during my time at Chelsea.
We’ve started the season well, winning four games out of four in all competitions – have you had a chance to watch any of our matches and how much do you think the team can achieve this season?
The squad is amazing and we only have top players here, so I think we will fight for every competition. I knew of Chelsea’s interest a couple of weeks ago so I’ve watched the first few games and the team is winning, and winning well.