- Lionel Messi's national teammate Rodrigo De Paul has joined Atletico Madrid on a five-year deal
- The 27-year-old was impressive in the Copa America for Argentina as La Albiceleste won their first Copa America in 28 years
- Many have described him as a powerful midfielder who can make both scores and assist in games
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Argentina football star Rodrigo de Paul has joined Atletico Madrid after an explosive display at the recently concluded Copa America championship.
The midfielder was instrumental to his country's triumph and his performances have earned him a return to the Spanish League, having previously played for Valencia from 2014 to 2016.
There were massive speculations about the future of De Paul in recent months, with reports suggesting his time with Italian outfit Udinese was coming to an end.
However, Atletico Madrid confirmed that De Paul has signed a five-year contract with them starting from the 2021-22 season.
Last year, he was heavily tipped to join either Leeds United or Liverpool but he eventually settled on the Spanish champions. Meanwhile, De Paul said after the move as according to BBC Sport quoting The Athletic that:
“I’m very happy, I’m going to join the champions of La Liga and I’m conscious of the responsibility it carries. It is a big step in my football career.”
“Moreover, because of the timing, just after winning the Copa America… this fills me with the strength to meet all expectations.”
This could however help want-away midfield star Saul to join Bayern Munich for a staggering £68 million this summer.
Despite being contracted at the Wanda Metropolitano until 2026, Saul is believed to want a new challenge away from Spain.
After £73m Jadon Sancho transfer, Premier League club Manchester United urged to sign another England star
Who is De Paul?
He was arguably Udinese’s best player for the 2020/21 campaign as he registered nine goals and 10 assists in 36 league matches.
De Paul was also captain of Udinese for much of the campaign as the side finished 14th in Serie A.
In October last year, he was on the verge of joining Leeds United but since Atletico Madrid joined the race of capturing him, they were always favourites to land his services.
Atletico Madrid has described him as a “powerful midfielder” who can join in the attack and scoring goals.
Lionel Messi dedicates Copa America to Maradona, others
Legit.ng earlier reported that Lionel Messi's endless wait for silverware finally came to an end over the weekend after guiding Argentina to a 1-0 win over Brazil to lift the Copa America title.
The victory came after the 34-year-old had made four appearances in four major tournament finals including the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Scaloni's men fought really hard to hold on to Angel di Maria's lone strike in the 22nd minute till the final whistle sounded.