Forward Fernando Uribe sealed the deal to join Santos from Flamengo and then paid tribute to the manner in which coach Jorge Sampaoli went about his business to lure him to the club.
The Colombian goal-getter, who is aged 31, says he switched to Santos because of the worldwide esteem in which the club is held — a character developed over the years through class, tradition and history.
Holding aloft his new No.9 shirt of the Alvinegro Praiano (nickname: the black and white of the beach) he said of the Vila Belmiro outfit:
“I had the opportunity to talk to Jorge Sampaoli before coming and knowing what he wanted for the team and for me. It helped a lot to talk to him first. I also talked to people who know him. It made me even more willing. In addition to the good coach he is, reaching a team like Santos FC is an honour. I am very happy to be part of this story, this cast and this team.”
Uribe went on to say that the joining the Samba stars gives him new hope that he can rekindle his scoring ways and be a credit to his new side”.
“Santos FC is the best-known Brazilian team in history and for everything it represents. It’s an honour to be part of this story, even more so with the 9 shirt. My desire is to do the best and make the mark.”
The next step for the attacker is to settle in with his new team-mates and what helps is that he already knows some of them; two in particular come to mind in the shape of Christian Cueva — they played at Mexican outfit Toluca — as well as Jean Lucas, a player who shared the pitch with him in his Flamengo spell.
And once he has acclimatised to his new surroundings Uribe says it is down to the coach to select him when he feels he is ready to help the cause. He added:
“I’m at his disposal, I’ve been able to train. I was training last week normally. I am at the disposal of the coaching staff. Sampaoli who will decide. I’m ready, with a lot of desire to play, to help the team and to do the best.”
Meanwhile, Uribe took to his social networks to allow him to thank the Flamengo supporters for their backing during the year he was with the Rio club. He said:
“Thank you, sometimes there are situations that may be true, sometimes not as we expect, I always believe that God is in control, but the most wonderful thing is to be able to give everything you have whenever you can. Honour the place and the colours you are representing that is the best reward at the end of the road. Thank you, thank you very much for everything in this wonderful year.”