Ahead of the Premier League big kick-off Sky Sports were granted an exclusive interview with the man Tottenham are banking on to fire them into the top four. Roberto Soldado didn't come cheap but the as the old adage goes 'you get what you pay for' and this guy scores goals...
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 18/08/13 9:17pm
Soldado on his debut:
It's going to be a special occasion for me, my first game in the Premier League. The opposition have just been promoted and they will definitely want to have a good start to their season. However, even though we are the away team, we'll be doing everything we can to begin by picking up the three points, which would be a good confidence boost for us.
Soldado on first impressions:
My first impressions have all been very positive. I've been treated very well by all the staff at the club, team mates and the coaches. I've been welcomed with open arms and in spite of any language difficulties I feel really comfortable here. That can only reflect well out there on the field and that's how we hope to start in Sunday's game.
Soldado on targets:
I think the main target for the club is getting into the Champions League places, having come so close last season. This time around we're all going to work as hard as possible to improve upon that showing. We want to qualify for the Champions League and we are convinced that we are going to achieve that. On a personal note I would just like to score plenty of goals this season and here's hoping I can beat the figure of twenty goals which I think would be a good achievement for me. I know that the Premier League is highly competitive and I'm hoping that at the end of the season, Tottenham finish as high as we possibly can, having hit all our targets, something I'm sure we will achieve with plenty of hard work.
Soldado on the Premier League:
I'd said during the Confederations Cup that I'd wanted to experience playing in the Premier League one day and so when I heard about the interest from Tottenham, it was a quick decision to make because I was certain that I wanted to play here. I knew that they were putting together a great side here, they'd already laid the foundations, only just missing out on Champions League qualification last season. We'll be fighting hard once again to make that happen, and let's hope that this time around we can achieve it. The Premier League is hard, intense and aggressive and is played at a very high tempo, but at the end of the day, that's what we all want, and I think it's nice for the supporters to be right up close to the match too.
Soldado on his Jekyll and Hyde character:
I'm generally quite a laid back, relaxed guy, I'm even a bit shy right here. But when I go out on to the field, I'm just the opposite. I have a lot of character as a player and it looks like I'm always angry about something when I'm on the pitch. But I think this just helps me to 'live' the game even more, and even though on many occasions I might lose concentration over some refereeing decision or some other reason, I think there are a lot more positives to my feisty character than there are negatives.
Soldado on the art of goalscoring:
I think it's something which was born within me, when you are in the area you try to think just a fraction of a second ahead of the defender when making your run and then anticipate getting a touch on the ball ahead of him. I guess that's why I'm a player who depends very much on my team mates and so they can make me a good player and in turn I can be good for them and the team. I'm at my best in the penalty area and I do score many of my goals taking just the one touch. I have a lot of heart and character as a player and I live the game intensely, so that's why I think I'm going to enjoy the Premier League. Let's hope that with my hard work and enthusiasm that I can do just that.
Soldado on his primary passion:
I live off scoring goals! Every time I step out on the pitch, I go out there to win and with the intention that my team wins and if I can get on the score sheet, that's even better still! But I absolutely live for scoring goals and that's what I dream of doing every time I train or play in a match. When I was a kid starting out playing football at school, it was all about goals, and I used to score plenty of them. But you're just playing for fun with the excitement of a kid and so it's not until you get a bit older that you begin to realise that yes, I can do this! You are keen and eager and you enjoy playing, but at some stage, there comes a time when this becomes a real job. I realised this for myself when I was playing competitive league football in the Spanish Segunda B. That's when you realise that you might be a decent goal scorer.
Soldado on growing up fast:
The youth system at Madrid educated me first and foremost as a person, as I went there very young, at just fourteen years old, and then it developed me as a footballer, right up until the age of twenty two when I left the club. It was an excellent step for me to make because the Real Madrid 'Cantera' (Academy youth system) opens up a lot of doors for a player. I was then fortunate enough to learn my trade at Osasuna and Getafe before ending up at Valencia and now here.
Soldado on toughening up:
For me it was the first season that I went out on loan to Osasuna. That was when I realised for the first time exactly what the First Division was about, or the reality of it. Because everything to do with Real Madrid can appear like living inside a bubble. So when you are at more modest clubs like Osasuna and Getafe, you experience the reality of football and I think that makes you make even more sacrifices as a player and also realise just how hard these clubs work to keep on performing season after season. After playing at those clubs I believe I discovered just what real football was all about and what it was like to experience it from the inside.
Soldado on his idol:
From when I was a kid, ever since I saw him playing for Barcelona, it was the Brazilian Ronaldo. For me he was the best in the world. His runs and movement off the ball and the way he could find space gave him the upper hand over defenders and then there was his ability to finish, which is vital for any striker. For me he was the complete player.