De Laet: “It’ll take weeks to recover from this shock”
Posted by nickogs20 on January 9, 2009
New Reds signing Ritchie de Laet has been speaking to Belgian sports website Sporza.be about his shock move from Stoke City to the European champions.
The article’s in Dutch but we’ve got an exclusive translation, enjoy…
‘What a dream’
Friday; the rather unknown Belgian defender Ritchie de Laet (20) has seduced Manchester United into giving him a contract. He reacted dumbstruck to his transfer. De Laet couldn’t deliver the goods in England with Stoke City, yet received a contract offer by Manchester United, mostly through the work of ex-Antwerp coach Warren Joyce. “What a dream”, Ritchie told Sporza. “I’ve been unable to sleep through most of the night, this is truly unbelievable. Warren Joyce has played a pivotal role in bringing me to Manchester United. He has really pushed Sir Alex into bringing me here. I’m definitely going to try everything within my power to prove that I belong here.”
Ritchie de Laet, a versatile defender, will join the reserve team of Manchester United, but was told he will be able to train with the first team (and star players) on a regular basis. “I’ve been thinking all night about what I’m going to say to Cristiano Ronaldo. I think I’ll just stay calm and politely say hello, and maybe ask him how he’s doing after his car crash. I haven’t got a driver’s licence yet, but I won’t be asking him for lessons, that’s for sure”, Ritchie laughed. “But this really is the dream. It’ll take a couple of weeks to let this sink in. I’m definitely staying until June, and hopefully I’ll be able to force my way towards a two or three-year contract. I believe that I can pull this off.”
‘The telephone hasn’t been quiet’
Ritchie de Laet was pretty much an unknown player in belgium, until Thursday. Now he’s in the spotlights, all of a sudden. “The telephone hasn’t stopped ringing. Everyone is giving me a call, even the English press. My girlfriend can’t believe it either. She has told me that football really should come first from now on. She made me promise not to think about anything else than football until after 5pm, every single day. I’ll be receiving my own locker with my own name on it. Wearing that shirt, running about on that field, training with the world’s best… I still can’t quite believe my luck.”
De Laet has also spoken to Stoke City website Why Delilah about the move – you can read the full article here.