Atletico Madrid new signing Axel Witsel has asserted that the Spanish side are one of the best clubs in the world and further added that he is excited to work under a top coach such as Diego Simeone ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. The Belgian midfielder joined the Spanish club on a free transfer.
Axel Witsel has had stints with Zenit St Petersburg, Tianjin Quanjian, Benfica, Standard Liege and Borussia Dortmund as he has proved his pedigree with his reliable performances across European and continental competitions. The Belgian joined Dortmund in the summer of 2018 and had established himself as a reliable presence in the heart of midfield. The former Dortmund midfielder has made 143 appearances for the Bundesliga side while scoring 13 goals and registering six assists across all competitions.
The Belgium international's contract at the Westfalenstadion expired this summer with the club not opting to extend his deal. Atletico Madrid was quick to pounce on the opportunity to sign the 33-year-old on a free transfer as the Belgian is earmarked to replace the void left behind by the departure of Hector Herrera. The defensive midfielder was the source of interest from several Premier League and La Liga sides although he opted to join the Madrid club after being convinced of their project.
Witsel has signed a one-year deal at the Wanda Metropiltano and the Belgian has expressed his delight at representing the team and playing under Diego Simeone.
“Atletico are a top club. I wanted to stay at the top level and play in the Champions League too, that's why I'm here... [Simeone] is one of the best coaches in the world and I want to work with him. I spoke to [Belgium teammate] Yannick [Carrasco], and he told me very good things about the club. I played here with Zenit and there was a great atmosphere,” Witsel told reporters at his unveiling.