RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) — Former Brazil international forward Hulk said Friday that he hopes to emulate the success of Ronaldinho at Atletico Mineiro after joining the Brazilian Serie A club on a free transfer.
Hulk did not hide his admiration for the former Barcelona star and two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, who led Atletico to their first Copa Libertadores title in 2013 at the age of 33.
“Ronaldinho is a phenomenon,” Hulk, who left Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG in December, said in his first press conference as an Atletico player on Friday.
“I had the opportunity to play with him in the national team and he wore this (Atletico Mineiro) shirt with honor. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve managed to win trophies and here it will be no different,” he added, citing the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A as priorities.
The Belo Horizonte outfit won their only Brazilian top-flight title in 1971.
“I know that Atletico haven’t been Brazilian champions for a long time. I want to fulfill everyone’s dream (of winning it), and you can be sure that I will be trying my best to do that with my teammates,” he said.
Hulk said he is looking forward to working under Atletico’s former Argentina and Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli.
“I’ve had the opportunity to face Sampaoli a few times in the national team. Whenever we played against Chile, it was very difficult. It was a team that was technically very well assembled,” the 34-year-old said.
“Sampaoli is an experienced coach and I am sure that I will learn a lot from him. He can count on me to always give my best,” the attacker added.
Hulk scored 76 goals in 145 matches over four-and-a-half years with Shanghai SIPG. He has been capped 48 times for Brazil over a career that has also included spells with Porto and Zenit St Petersburg.