Alphonse Areola is intent on making the most of his opportunity at Real Madrid as he looks to emulate his goalkeeping idol Iker Casillas.
France international Areola is on a season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain to Madrid, with Keylor Navas heading in the opposite direction.
The 26-year-old is likely to back up Thibaut Courtois, who has started in Madrid’s opening three LaLiga outings.
Areola acknowledged it will be a tough task to oust the Belgian as number one yet revealed the chance to join Madrid was too good to turn down, citing Los Blancos’ iconic former goalkeeper Casillas as an influence on his decision.
“I have spoken to my friends and family about what it means to be number one in this side,” Areola told a news conference when asked about following in Casillas’ footsteps.
“Casillas was one of my idols when I was young in France, he made me want to play in goal. In fact, I’ve got a shirt of his from when I was young.
“I think it’s good to try and take on this responsibility to be number one and try and prove I can be number one.
“It’s true, I only have one year on loan here, but I’ve seen the stadium, the history here and I’m going to do as much as I possibly can.
“Of course, there’s a hierarchy already but as soon as I get the chance I’m going to try and show the level I’ve got.
“It was a good opportunity to come to the biggest club in the world and take advantage of that, to improve as a player and discover a new opportunity. It’s a great opportunity for me.”
Areola added another deciding factor in his transfer was Zinedine Zidane, with the goalkeeper honoured to be playing under a France legend.
“It is true I am coming to a club that is coached by a legend,” he said. “It is an honour for me to be here with Zidane, to play under him, and I am going to do the best I can for him.
“He’s given me a great welcome. My objective is to give everything I can every day in training, be ready for every game. When I have a chance to show my level, show how good I can be, I have to be strong and show what I am worth.”
Areola is set to be in Zidane’s squad for Saturday’s meeting with Levante, before Madrid travel to Paris for a Champions League clash with his former club.