Mathieu Flamini has said he is very excited to start playing for his "very ambitious" new club, having joined Crystal Palace on a free transfer on Thursday morning.
The 32-year-old revealed he was looking forward to the challenge in south London and praised the manager, his new teammates and the owners for their ability and ambition going forward.
"I had [lots] of different opportunities, but for me Crystal Palace is a great challenge," said the midfielder. "It's a very stable club, a very ambitious team, with great players and I had a chance to meet the manager also, and that made the difference.
"He told me I will have to fight for my place, I'm part of a very good team and also an ambitious group. He was telling me he's counting on me, he wants me to take the lead in that team and to be a part of it as soon as possible.
"As I said before: it's a very interesting challenge, it's a very stable club and the owners have very ambitious objectives, which means it's very exciting."
Flamini has enjoyed a good career in the Premier League and Serie A already, winning trophies at both Arsenal and Milan. Having played elite European football since his first season as a professional with Marseille, Flamini hopes that his experience playing at the top can benefit his new team.
"I will do everything to bring that experience in to the team as soon as possible and I'm very excited to start playing next to my teammates," he said.
One of those new teammates is fellow French midfielder Yohan Cabaye. "We've met a few times. He's a great player and I can't wait to play next to him," Flamini said of his compatriot.
Looking ahead, Flamini is keen to prove his worth as soon as possible, operating in a defensive role slightly ahead of the back four he feels he can be an important player for Palace once he's up to speed.
"I've been training hard to keep the fitness going, but of course now I have to be back in training. I have to keep working harder and harder," he said.
"I'm [used to] playing in front of the back four and my role is to protect the defence, so I focus on when the team is winning the ball - that has been my role for a while."
To watch a video interview with Mathieu and more from his first day at Palace CLICK HERE.