Leandro Cabrera has signed for Atletico Madrid from Defensor Sporting after the Spanish club agreed a reported €1,5 million for 50 per cent of the defender.
The 18-year-old was officially presented at the Vicente Calderon this afternoon, with the Atletico sporting director, Jesus García Pitarch, introducing him as one of the "future names of Uruguayan football."
"He is a young player with a lot of potential and I am sure he will become a great player in the next years," Pitarch told AS.
The signing of Cabrera has been the subject of criticism from some of the supporters, who want Atletico to bet on the home-grown players, but president Enrique Cerezo thinks that quality material is never enough.
"The club want to bet on the players developed by the club, but that does not mean we cannot use the market to bring in players," Cerezo noted. "To become strong and competitive we must do it."
Cabrera will now be able to play alongside compatriot Diego Forlan, but he confessed that his idol is Martin Caceres, who plays for Barcelona.
"I want to emulate him because he is one of my football idols," Cabrera said.
The youngster insisted that he plans to return the trust Atletico have shown in him with good performances on the pitch, saying, "I really want to play for this club and my biggest hope is to do it with the first team."
Luís Mira, Goal.com