By Stefan Curtis
QPR caused quite a stir last summer when they signed Real Madrid wonderkid Daniel Parejo. Chairman Flavio Briatore used his friendship with Real president Ramon Calderon to seal a one-year loan deal for Parejo, 19, fending off competition from Arsenal, Deportivo La Coruna and Villarreal for the youngster’s signature.
Five months on, and Parejo admits that he is thoroughly enjoying his time in the capital and has vowed to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres by proving Spaniards can succeed in English football.
“I`m actually having a really good time. Everyone has been very welcoming and that has really helped me to settle in.
“It was a big decision to come to England, but one that I took with my family. I think it`s a great opportunity as I`m going to gain a lot of experience on both a professional and a personal level.
“I feel that I have performed quite well so far, but there is of course much more to come from me.”
Coming from Real Madrid, you would be forgiven for thinking that Parejo would rather be sipping sangria in Spain than playing against Barnsley on a cold, wet Tuesday night. But you couldn`t be more wrong.
“I love the challenge of playing at the small grounds, the crowds are amazing.
“It`s always hard leaving your home, friends and family behind, but if you feel comfortable in a team and they treat you well, I don`t think there are any problems.
“Real Madrid have lots of foreign players on their team and of course they are all treated very well, just like I am being treated well as a foreigner living in England.
“I believe that a team is like a family and whilst I do miss my friends and family, the fact that I`m very comfortable here, coupled with the fact that there are lots of other young players, helps me overcome the homesickness.
“The football in England is a completely different to anything I have previously experienced, but it`s been incredible. Stadiums are full to the brim and the fans are always singing, I think it`s really impressive.”
With QPR currently knocking on the door of the play-offs, and with new boss Paulo Sousa at the helm, Parejo is confident that the club can enjoy a successful campaign before he departs in May.
“My main aim at the start of the season was to help get QPR promoted to the Premiership, and that`s still the same. The new manager has come in and things are a little different and I`m thoroughly enjoying it.
“When I leave the club, it will be sad, but my dream objective is to play for the Real Madrid first team. They are best team in the world, and although it`s going to be very, very hard it`s not impossible, and I will fight to play in that team, just as I will fight for the R`s”
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By Stefan Curtis