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Bernat: A dream has come true

With two days to go before the first pre-season training session FC Bayern have further strengthened the first team squad with the signing of Spain U-21 international Juan Bernat. The 21-year-old left back moves to the Bundesliga from Spanish top-flight side Valencia and is the third signing for the new campaign after Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) and Sebastian Rode (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Bernat, who can also play on the left wing, made 32 appearances in La Liga last term including 26 starts. Bernat played four times for Spain in last year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup before going out of the competition at the quarter-final stage against Uruguay. He was a member of the Spain U-19 team that won the European Championships the year before. The new signing gave his first interview to after he had inked his five-year contract with FCB.

Interview: Juan Bernat Hello Juan, welcome to FC Bayern. How are you?
Juan Bernat: I’m obviously very pleased to be part of this team. It’s an important stage in my career and I’m very  happy. It’s a dream come true for me.

You had a number of offers from top European clubs. What were the reasons for leaving Spain and signing for Bayern Munich?
I’ve played for Valencia since I was six and it made me very proud when a big club like Bayern Munich showed an interest in me. Bayern are one of the best clubs in the world and it’s great motivation for me being in a position to play for this club. I want to give my all to get into the first team and go on to win plenty of titles with FC Bayern.

Two of your fellow countrymen, Javi Martínez and Thiago, are already at FC Bayern. Were you in contact with them before you signed?
No, not up to now as I don’t know either of them. But I’m looking forward to getting to know them and I think they will be a big help to me in terms of settling in here in Munich.

Our head coach Pep Guardiola is another fellow countryman. What part did he play in your decision to join FC Bayern?
Well, Guardiola is definitely one of the best coaches in the world. I think I can learn a lot under him and I’m looking forward very much to working with him.

How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your strengths?
It’s always a bit tricky talking about yourself. I think I’m somebody who likes to get forward down the flanks and I’m quick, good on the ball and strong in challenges. Those are my main characteristics and I’m looking forward to being able to show Bayern fans what I can do.