“I will give everything…”
That’s the message NYCFC’s newest recruit Alexander Ring wanted to transmit to fans after completing his move from Kaiserslautern.
The Finland international midfielder is delighted to have signed with the club and to have the opportunity to play under Patrick Vieira – a player he watched and admired growing up.
Ring also revealed that the chance to live in New York with his wife and young daughter was another huge selling point when NYCFC came calling.
The 25-year old told NYCFC.com: “I hope the fans will like my playing style, I always give 110%. I always leave it out on the pitch and I play with emotion because, for me, the emotion is what makes the game.
“I think you can see the passion when I play. I’m really looking forward to coming to New York. I’ve already got all the stats about the fanbase and how good that is – with 30,000 spectators on average and I can’t wait to play at the Yankee Stadium – it’s an iconic stadium.
“I don’t want to say too much because I want people to make their own picture of me themselves but I think I’m an honest player who gives everything and plays with confidence.
“Living in New York was a big selling point for me and my family too.
“I have a two-year old daughter and my wife is pregnant again so we’re really looking forward to moving over.
“My wife has been to New York but I’ve never– I only know what I’ve seen on television or in the movies, so I’m really excited to get there.”
Ring is a versatile player who can play at the base as a no.6 or as a no.10 behind the striker but he considers his best position as somewhere between the two.
A competitive midfielder with the ability to break up play and to score goals, the man who has won 42 international caps grew up watching Arsene Wenger’s all-conquering Arsenal side at the turn of the century and took inspiration from his new Head Coach, as well as Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.
“I would describe myself as dynamic, aggressive and not so bad on the ball,” he smiled.
“I can also score goals but I like to play at the heart of the game in the midfield – being in the action all of the time, either offensively or defensively. Some people see me as a clear no.6 or as a no.10 but I think my best position is as a box-to-box midfielder.
“When I began to watch football I watched Arsenal, so I grew up watching Patrick, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry – probably because I play midfield as an 8 and as a 10 so I was between all of them.
“They were the three guys I liked to follow because of Henry’s goalscoring which was obviously out of this world, Bergkamp’s technical abilities and Patrick, how he was a player who could control the midfield by himself.
“If you have a player like that, you are an intimidating team – that’s what got me in 97, 98 when I started watching.”
Ring has crossed paths with one of his new teammates before, in qualifying for the last FIFA World Cup in 2014.
Alexander’s Finland met David Villa’s Spain twice, earning a creditable 1-1 draw in March 2013 at Gijon’s El Molinon stadium.
Now he’s on the same side as El Guaje, he hopes they will go on to be successful together in MLS in 2017.
Ring added: “I want to leave my mark, of course, I want to win things and I think that’s why New York wanted to bring me there.
“I’ve watched the MLS games they show on Eurosport in Germany and it’s a very physical league and maybe an underestimated one.
“I’m now really looking forward to coming to America to show people what I can do on the pitch.”