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'I like being hated' - Herrera embraces animosity that comes with playing for PSG

1:53 AM GMT+4 06/08/2019
Ander Herrera PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2019-20
The Spanish midfielder admitted that the French club is despised by many and is looking forward the challenge of maintaining their success

Ander Herrera says that he is embracing the idea of being 'hated' as he gets set for his first season with Paris Saint-Germain.

The midfielder joined PSG this summer via a free transfer, having left Manchester United after five-year stay with the Premier League club.

Herrera, who made 189 appearances for the Red Devils, won the Europa League, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Community Shield during his time at Old Trafford.

Now a member of PSG, the Spaniard has joined a club that tends to dominate in France, having already won the Trophee des Champions this season.

And Herrera understands that frequent success brings criticism and animosity, and he's fully prepared to embrace that as he begins life in Ligue 1.

"[The club's reputation is] that of a giant! A club that is respected, that is classy," he told France Football.

"A club where three or four of the best players in the world play. I know too that it is one of the most hated clubs in France, and I like that."

The move to PSG brings Herrera to the fourth club of his career, having played for Real Zaragoza and Athletic Bilbao before heading to Old Trafford.

He was free to join any club this summer, but Herrera says that staying in the Premier League was not an option while also stating that he still holds plenty of love for his first club, Real Zaragoza.

"First of all, [I joined PSG] for the project. The club has a classy and glamorous side that I like a lot. Then, because I wanted to continue to play for a big club," he said.

"And, honestly, I could not see myself playing in another English club. When you have played for Manchester United, it is difficult to go elsewhere.

"PSG, they have a project that is progressing incessantly. The way that PSG approached me was impeccable. I felt wanted. Thomas [Tuchel] called me multiple times to talk. He is someone who helps players become better. At 29, I still want to improve."

He added: "I was happy to play for Athletic Bilbao, another club that is dear to me, and for Manchester United, the biggest club in the United Kingdom, where I felt loved. Today, I am happy to be at PSG, the biggest club in France.

"I have always given everything to the clubs I have represented and I represent. But I cannot lie to you: the club of my heart is still Real Zaragoza, who I have supported as a child and where I started my career."