East Rutherford, New Jersey: New Atletico Madrid signing Kieran Trippier said he is settling into life with the Spanish club quicker than expected thanks to his team mates, and reserved praise for his new manager’s approach to coaching.
The England international completed a surprise move to Spain last week, and made his second start for his new club in their thumping 7-3 victory over city rivals Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup on Friday.
Speaking after the match, the defender said he was relishing being out of his comfort zone in Spain, and has made learning the language his aim.
“I have slotted in better than expected to be honest,” Trippier said. “The lads have been brilliant with me, all the staff have made me feel so welcome.
“It is about learning the language now and that is my priority, getting involved with the lads and everything around it, embracing the culture.
“There is a lot of new faces but the lads make it easier for you when they include you in everything.
“Around the dinner table, they speak a little bit of English to me and I do my part in Spanish.
“I am delighted to be here with a new challenge and new chapter for me and my family.” Trippier also singled out coach Diego Simeone for praise, believing he is well positioned to improve a key area of his game.
“In training the standard is unbelievable,” Trippier added. “I am delighted to be part of this world class team, with a world class coach.
“When you are learning a defensive side there is no better coach to work under, and it is an area I want to improve on.”
Diego Costa scored four goals as Atletico embarrassed Real Madrid 7-3 at the MetLife Stadium.
Costa had a hat-trick by halftime and added one more goal before he was sent off in the 63rd, when both teams were reduced to 10 men after a testy shoving match.
The first meeting outside of Europe between the Madrid rivals proved a dismal night for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid, who saw Serbian starlet Luka Jovic hobble off after an awkward collision with Atletico keeper Jan Oblak in the 24th minute.
Zidane can only hope the news on his injury will be better than that on Marco Asensio, who could miss most if not all of the La Liga season after rupturing a knee ligament against Arsenal on Tuesday.
Portuguese 19-year-old Joao Felix, signed from Benfica this month for 126 million euros ($142 million), scored his first goal for Atletico, and helped set up two more.
Angel Correa also scored for Atletico, who had run the score to 5-0 at halftime and 6-0 before Real Madrid got one on the scoreboard before a packed house at the East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants.
Welsh star Gareth Bale - reportedly on the verge of a lucrative move to Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning - was sent on with less than half an hour remaining but couldn’t provide a spark.