Mateo, we’re happy to greet you in St. Petersburg! How are you feeling right now?
“I feel fantastic! I’m happy to join a big club like Zenit. I think I had a successful season last year and that was great. I hope I’ll be able to keep it up with my new club.”
When did you find out that Zenit was interested in you, and how long did it take for you to make the decision to join the club?
“I found out about a month ago, and every single day their interest was becoming stronger. I decided to join Zenit immediately, I’m here now, and my family and I are very happy about it! I can’t wait to start training with the team and to show what I can do.”
Did you speak with your fellow Colombian Wilmar Barrios about your move to Zenit? Did you ask him anything?
“Yes, I had the opportunity to talk to him. Wilmar is a first class player who is making history at Zenit right now. I asked him some questions, and after speaking, it became even easier for me to make my decision to join the club.”
What did Barrios tell you about Zenit and about St. Petersburg?
“He said that I would feel at home here, that Zenit is a big club that is always challenging for the title, and last season they won the title again. Of course this motivated me even more to come here.”
Have you chosen the squad number?
“Yes, I’m going to be wearing number 30. I’ve been associated with this number for a long time now, it was on my shirt last year and during my first season at Belenenses. So my adventure at Zenit will start with 30!”
In your first season in Russia you scored 14 goals, and one of them was against Zenit. What are your aims for goals this season?
“I don’t have any aims, because the most important thing for me is becoming better every day, and every match is a new challenge. I hope my hard work will help me score many goals in a Zenit shirt.”
Generally speaking, what goals are you setting for yourself for the three years your contract is to run for?
“It would only be logical to say my main aim is to win the Russian Premier Liga with the club, and also to fight for the trophies and win all of the tournaments. This is the most important goal, because these are Zenit’s traditions. When participation in Champions League becomes possible again, I would love to play in it with Zenit, to get to the play-offs and get as close to the final as possible.”
This is your first opportunity to say a few words to the fans of your new club. What would you want to tell them?
“Thank you for your support When people found out that the club were interested in me, I got so many nice messages telling me to join Zenit. On my part, I can guarantee that I’m going to give my all and to thank you by scoring many goals.”