Barcelona present new signing Braithwaite

Reuters Videos

SHOWS: BARCELONA, SPAIN (FEBRUARY 20, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FC BARCELONA STRIKER, MARTIN BRAITHWAITE, SAYING:

"I'm really happy to be here, I think as a footballer (it) is one of the biggest things to be able to go to the best club in the world. So, it's really special for me and my whole family and this is something I've worked really hard for, for a long time and now I'm finally here and I can't wait to get started and I have a lot of good things in the future for me and my team. I'm really excited, so thank you everyone for being here and I'm ready to get started."

2. FC BARCELONA PRESIDENT JOSEP MARIA BARTOMEU (LEFT), STRIKER MARTIN BRAITHWAITE (MIDDLE) AND SPORTING DIRECTOR ERIC ABIDAL (RIGHT) HOLDING BRAITHWAITE'S NUMBER 19 BARCELONA SHIRT

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FC BARCELONA STRIKER, MARTIN BRAITHWAITE, SAYING:

"I was surprised at the moment, but at the same time not so surprised because, like I said before, it's been many years I've been seeing this in my head and it's always been my ambition to play at this level. And no matter what I've always been working hard and believing, and I know when you work hard, you believe and you're positive and you pray to God, things will happen. You'll (he'll) move mountains for you and I'm here right now and I'm ready, so I was happy, I was also surprised at the moment, but it was meant to be, so I'm really happy."

STORY: New Barcelona signing Martin Braithwaite admitted he was surprised to learn the Spanish champions wanted to bring him to the club but said he had always felt he could perform among European football's elite.

The Denmark striker signed a four-year contract with Barca on Thursday (February 20) from La Liga strugglers Leganes after the Catalans paid his 18-million euro release clause.

Upon signing for Barca, Braithwaite's release clause rocketed to 300 million euros.

The 28-year-old has swapped a relegation battle with Leganes for a title tilt with Barca after the league's organising body gave the Catalans special permission to sign a player outside the transfer window.

Before joining Leganes last year, the Dane had had an unremarkable career which included largely unsuccessful stints at English club Middlesbrough and French sides Toulouse and Girondins Bordeaux.

He has scored 74 goals in 292 appearances as a professional, only reaching double figures in two seasons, while at Toulouse.

The forward has also played 39 times for Denmark, including four matches at the 2018 World Cup.

Barca decided not to sign a forward in the January transfer window after Luis Suarez was ruled out for four months following knee surgery but need another striker after French international Ousmane Dembele ruptured his hamstring.

Braithwaite could make his debut against Eibar on Saturday (February 22) but will only be able to play a maximum of 14 games this season and he is not eligible for the Champions League.

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