New boy: "This is a very important move for me."
Towering stopper Costel Pantilimon is relishing a new chapter in his career after sealing a move to Sunderland.
The Romanian picked up a Barclays Premier League winners’ medal with Manchester City last season and has agreed a four-year deal on Wearside.
This is a good opportunity for me at a great club with fantastic fans, and I am sure I have made the right decision to come here
- Costel Pantilimon
“This is a good opportunity for me at a great club with fantastic fans, and I am sure I have made the right decision to come here,” the 27-year-old said.
“It’s strange that I played against Sunderland for City last season. I’m happy to be here; I really feel this.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a great period and I hope to have great results.”
Pantilimon – the club’s third summer signing – will battle with Vito Mannone for the number one spot in 2014-15.
Mannone won the club’s player of the year award last season and his new team-mate says the competition will help the Black Cats to push on.
“I said when I left City that I am here to play and help this team.
- At 6'8", he is the tallest player in the league
- Romanian international with 18 caps
- Made 18 appearances for Man City last season
- Played against Sunderland in 2014 Capital One Cup final
“I know Vito is a great keeper. We will fight to help this team, which is the most important thing.
“This is a very important move for me. I chose to come here not only because I feel it, but because I also think it’s a great opportunity to improve and work with a great head coach and great players.”
The keeper witnessed the start of Sunderland’s run to Barclays Premier League survival first-hand – he was on City’s bench for the Black Cats’ 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
That result was followed by four straight wins, leaving Pantilimon impressed with the mental strength evident on Wearside.
“The team has strong characters – only like that can you do things in difficult moments,” he explained.
“When Sunderland came to City last season they made a good result, and the wins against Chelsea and Manchester United were great performances – especially when the table was so tight.
“When you play against three of the biggest teams in the league it’s important to have strong characters.”