Cavani world exclusive: I'll do the shirt justice

Manchester United's deadline-day capture of legendary Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani has the club's fans everywhere eager with excitement.

Across Europe's top five leagues, only Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have more goals than El Matador since he made his debut with Palermo back in 2007.

Supporters have been keenly awaiting Edinson's reaction to joining the club, and we are pleased to say that he delivered just that when he spoke to us from home for this world-exclusive, first major interview as a Red.

You can watch the first part of his interview in our video player below, or read every word he had to say by scrolling down...

Video
Edinson Cavani
Watch the first part of our exclusive interview with Edinson Cavani.
Firstly, Edinson, welcome to England, and welcome to Manchester United. How does it feel being a Manchester United player?
“Thanks very much. It’s a pleasure for me to speak with you. I feel very happy to have come to this club. I feel very motivated and I’m really keen to get started training with my team-mates. But the best thing about it is that the club have shown their confidence in me by wanting to bring me in. I was really keen to come here. I’m very motivated by the idea of joining this great club and so, well, here we are today…”


You’ve played in Italy, France… now it’s the turn of the Premier League. How excited are you at the prospect of playing in the Premier League?
“Yes, absolutely, it’s my chance to come to the Premier League, which is a very attractive league to play in, and it’s right up there with the best leagues anywhere in the world. For me that’s a real honour, an honour and a new challenge, which really excites me a lot, and I cannot wait to be able to start to feel what it’s like to play in the Premier League. I’ve been lucky enough to have played against a lot of English sides, but now it’s my turn to experience playing and competing every weekend and in every match in the English Premier League.”
You are following in the footsteps of Diego Forlan. What do you remember about Diego?
“I played together with Diego for a good number of years in the national team. I also remember Diego when I was young, still just a kid and Diego was already here at Manchester United. So, what a coincidence that now it’s my turn to come here, knowing also that Diego has spoken positively and said some nice things about me. But yes, Diego and I shared some great times together as part of the international set-up and you always learn loads of stuff from top-class players with vast experience.”


Talking of great players, your ex-team-mate, Ander Herrera, has said that you can’t say no to Manchester United. Is that true? Tell me more about this chat, and what did he tell you about the club?
“Yes, I spoke with Ander a lot, as well as other team-mates, like Angel Di Maria, who I was also with at Paris. It was genuinely getting to the last minute and I called Ander to have a chat. I have a lot of admiration for Ander, for the kind of person he is and I had the feeling that his words were going to help me out, by telling me a bit about what it was like at United. And so, yes, it’s true that after I’d finished talking with Ander, we came to an agreement here with the club. I hadn’t known Ander for too long, but we formed and enjoyed a close friendship during that time at PSG, and today we are still very good mates.”
And of course he knows exactly what it’s like to play here at Old Trafford! Tell me, just how excited are you to step out and play on the Old Trafford turf?
“I can’t wait to get out there on the field and be there, able to play. The English league represents something really special, but I think what Manchester United represents on a worldwide scale is just incredible, so I’m really looking forward to being able to experience it for myself — the feeling of pulling on that shirt and going out on the pitch to wear it with pride. It’s getting closer by the day. So I’m eager and anxious to get started, firstly to be training with my team-mates, and then to be available for the squad and for the manager.”


And of course you had plenty of other offers, so how did you decide to accept the offer and sign for United? 
“Yes, we did have a lot of different options, [even] at a time when things aren’t so easy, neither in sport nor in the world in general. I was very attracted by the chance to play in English football, and what’s more, for Manchester United, so that was a really big attraction for me, and a huge motivation too, because I feel that I still have a big desire to compete, to work hard and to give the best of myself. Let’s hope that I can be up to the task and can represent this club, and along with everyone, help take it to the top.”
You’ve taken on the no.7 jersey — why is that so special to you, as you wore it previously at both Palermo and Napoli?
“It’s a great number, I got to wear it with the national team as well. But I honestly believe that the number you wear is more of an off-the-field thing. That’s where it counts for more. I know that once you’re out on the pitch, the number you have on your shirt has no influence. But when you get the chance to pull on the no.7 shirt at Manchester United, which has been worn by some top, top players who have been legends here in this country and at this club, it really is a nice responsibility to have. I enjoy challenges and, as I said to you, I hope that I can do it great justice and leave it in as high regard as the many great players who have worn this shirt before me.”
 
That’s just was I was about to say, does that increase your motivation, knowing that the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo wore this magical number 7?
“Yes, it’s a fantastic challenge, and an exciting responsibility too, which I’m accepting with the best will in the world, and like I said, I’ll be working really hard to perform at my very best so I can leave that number, that shirt, just how it was left by those players you just mentioned.”

Look out for the second half of Cavani's exclusive interview on ManUtd.com and in our Official App on Saturday.

Our 2020/21 home, away and third kits are available now from United Direct.

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