Ruslan Malinovskyi reflected on his move from Atalanta to Olympique Marseille and experiences in the Champions League with the Bergamo outfit.
The 29-year-old Ukrainian forward ended a three and a half year association with la Dea earlier this month, joining Marseille on a six-month loan deal with a conditional obligation to buy clause attached. Malinovskyi became a fan favourite in Bergamo and contributed to 58 goals in 143 games for Atalanta.
Speaking at his Marseille unveiling, Malinovskyi first discussed his role on the pitch and impressions of the Ligue 1 outfit.
“With the national team I played in midfield, in Italy as a trequartista. I can play anywhere, it depends on the coach, the team, how you play. I like playing in attack.
“Marseille is a great city, with a great football history. They’re the biggest club in France and have great fans. I’m here to help the club achieve their goals.
“I already knew the team because they had faced Ukrainian clubs in the past. They had great players, like Ribéry and Drogba.
“In the current squad I know Pau Lopez, Veretout and Ünder because they played in Italy. I played against Gigot in Belgium.”
He touched on his relationship with coach Igor Tudor, who previously managed Hellas Verona.
“I know the coach well because he worked in Italy. I spoke to him, I like dynamic football, which destabilises the opponent. It’s a football I love.”
The Ukrainian forward reflected on his transfer from Atalanta to Marseille.
“Marseille’s offer was the most concrete, I knew I would accept. I had no doubts. There were also offers from England, but they were not concrete. I should’ve arrived here already in August, I followed the team.”
Finally, Malinovskyi gave his impressions of French football as a whole.
“All the teams are very physical. That doesn’t frighten me because it’s the same in Italy. There is a need for intensity.
“In Italy I always gave everything and did great things. Coming here is a big step in my career.
“Marseille want to win trophies. With Atalanta we played in the Champions League but there was always Inter and Juve to beat. I am 29 years old, I am not yet at the top, I can still be important.”
Malinovskyi made 115 Serie A appearances for Atalanta during his time in Italy, scoring 23 goals and providing 24 assists in that time.