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The new Viola midfielder is delighted that the Colombian star stayed with the club and says he is relishing the challenge of Serie A

EXCLUSIVE
By Hrvoje Tironi

New Fiorentina signing Milan Badelj believes the squad has the potential to achieve greatness - particularly after having kept Juan Cuadrado.

The Colombia international was heavily linked with a move away from the Artemio Franchi this summer, with Barcelona and Manchester United long believed to be chasing his signature.

However, Badelj - who joined from Bundesliga outfit Hamburg during the transfer window - is confident his new side have a squad to challenge the very best after retaining the services of the 26-year-old.

"We have brutally strong team! There are many quality individuals that make a difference," he told Goal. "My aim is to become an important part of that team.

"Competition is very strong, especially in midfield, with Borja Valero, David Pizzarro, Alberto Aquilani, Mati Fernandez, Josip Ilicic, now Jasmin Kurtic. And I am glad Cuadrado stayed, we will really make a great team."

Badelj believes Fiorentina represent "a great challenge" for his career and is looking forward to working under coach Vincenzo Montella.

"I am happy, coming to Fiorentina is a great challenge and a step forward," said the 25-year-old. "HSV are a big club, no matter the current crisis, but I am sure I have gone to a better club.

"I have spoken to Montella over the phone, he said he is happy I came, expects me at training on Thursday and to play the friendly [against Lugano] on Friday."

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