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Johnny Heitinga - Everton FC can reach Champions League again
Published : 05 Sep 2009 09:00:00
JOHNNY HEITINGA believes Everton can help him fulfil his ambitions to play Champions League football. The Dutch international defender decided to give up a campaign in the group stages of Europe's premier competition with Atletico Madrid - because he believes he can get there with Everton. The 25-year-old, currently preparing to face Japan in a friendly international this weekend, joined the Blues on transfer deadline day in a £6m switch from Madrid. Eyebrows were raised in Spain when the highly-rated and versatile defender opted to turn his back on a Champions League campaign for a move to Merseyside. But Heitinga declared: 'I have come to Everton to play in the Champions League and I will give everything for every game. 'It was difficult to leave (Atletico) as it was my first year there. I played every game and we were in the Champions League - but the feeling to play for Everton was big. 'I am proud that I signed for the People's Club. 'When I travelled to Liverpool, the first time I stepped onto the training pitch I felt one of them. It is a club with a very big history.' But while Heitinga explained his reasons for choosing Everton, Argentine international Ever Banega explained why he turned his back on a move to The Toffees, even though they went as far as getting a work permit approved for him. It was believed that his club, Valencia, blocked the move, but the 22-year-old explained it was his own decision to stay put in la Liga.