Skip to main content

Vrsaljko relishing 'healthy rivalry' with Juanfran

Sime Vrsaljko is looking forward to working alongside right-back rival Juanfran after being presented as an Atletico Madrid player.

Vrsaljko, 24, is seen by many as a long-term successor to the 31-year-old, having arrived from Sassuolo on a five-year contract.

But the Croatia international is relishing what he anticipates will be "healthy competition" for a starting berth at Vicente Calderon.

"He's my partner, I have a lot of respect for him," he told a news conference. "It will be healthy competition, all positive.

"I'm sure that I will improve, to push myself what I can. But the important thing is the team."

Vrsaljko also revealed he had spoken to international team-mate Mario Mandzukic about life at Atleti.

"I very much like the way they work, I'm glad it's this way," he added. 

"I have spoken with my partner in Croatia Mandzukic and he told me positive things about the way they work. I'm glad to be here and I want to start."

Atleti begin their LaLiga season at home to Alaves on August 21.