Rodrigo and Victor Orta delivered knockout talks to turn Junior Firpo’s head in Leeds United’s direction and a European dream.
The Whites completed the €15m transfer of the Barcelona left-back on Tuesday and in doing so saw off hefty competition from Europe.
“This summer for me, there were many clubs interested, but when Victor Orta spoke with me and showed me the project, I said ‘wow, this is interesting, they really want me.’
“In this moment, I said ok I want to go to Leeds.”
Eddie Nketiah, Robin Koch and Rodrigo are other major arrivals to have spoken in the past about Orta’s sway and passion in selling his Leeds vision.
Beyond Orta, Firpo’s compatriot, Rodrigo, also picked up the phone and told the 24-year-old about life in West Yorkshire.
“I spoke to Rodrigo because Diego Llorente is with the national team now and he is focused with them,” he said.
“So I spoke to Rodrigo and he told me to come here and play with us, he said it will be really nice.”
Naturally, European football is par for the course at Spanish giants Barcelona, but Firpo is already setting his sights on that as a long-term goal with his new club.
The former Real Betis man almost checked himself as he went to lay out the big hope, but stuck to his guns.
“I don’t want to be [too] passionate, but I want us to go to Europe,” he said. “All the people want to play in Europe.
“I play Champions League, I play Europa League, but with this club, if we reach this, it would be amazing.”
Beyond Orta and friendly faces like Rodrigo, the head coach Marcelo Bielsa was always likely to be pivotal in convincing Firpo of this next step.
Firpo believes Bielsa’s tactical style will suit his abilities.
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“I saw him (Bielsa) in Spain when he trained there,” said Firpo.
“I know the coach he is, and for me, he is a really good coach. He wants to press all the time, play one against one many times, and for me, that’s my football.
“Physical football, running, having the ball, for me it’s not a problem and I think he will help me go to another level.”