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Kieran Trippier: Leaving Tottenham for Atletico Madrid is a step up

Kieran Trippier

The England international departed Tottenham Hotspur (opens in new tab) for the La Liga giants in the summer and has started brightly.

Trippier played every minute as Atleti (opens in new tab) racked up three wins from their opening three games of the league season, grabbing an assist on his debut.

And the 28-year-old admitted he has been blown away by the coaching of boss Diego Simeone since landing in the Spanish capital.

"He's unbelievable," Trippier told AFP (opens in new tab). "The passion he has - in games you see him celebrating tackles like goals - it gives you such a lift.

"You can see over the years how strong Atletico have been, his teams have always looked like a family and I feel that now.

"It all comes from Cholo. I think he can take me to the next level. For a defender I don't think there's a better place in the world to be."

He added: "I'm working with one of the best coaches in the world and Atletico is one of the biggest teams in Europe. I'm not taking a step down, I'm taking a step up."

Trippier is the only English player to feature in La Liga this season and is already convinced that moving abroad was the right call, even if he is yet to completely adjust to the Spanish lifestyle.

"Every decision I've taken in my career has been a brave one," he said.

"Football is about taking risks. I'd always fancied playing abroad so I had discussions with Tottenham and said I wanted a new challenge, a new chapter for me and my family.

“To play in Spain was an amazing opportunity, I didn't want it to slip away. No regrets.”

He added: "It is difficult eating later than in England, I get hungry. And I'm not a big tapas fan yet, I don't like sharing! But it's okay, I'll try to fit in as much as I can."

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.