Rui Patricio says the number one shirt at Wolves will always belong to Carl Ikeme for the way the former stopper is an example to all after overcoming his battle with leukaemia.
Ikeme was forced to retire in July 2017 after a leukaemia diagnosis, just a month after the Portugal goalkeeper moved to the West Midlands, but Patricio opted to take the number 11 shirt and leave number one free, but the ex-Nigeria international has said Patricio deserves to take on the shirt.
On the number one shirt at Wolves
“Carl was the number one, and unfortunately, he had to stop because of leukaemia. But he still is the number one and he deserves this shirt because he had a problem which could happen to any one of us.
“He’s an example because of the way he turned the situation around. I look up to him quite a lot. He was here just last week to see the doctors and when I was with him, I was thinking about how good a person he is to look up to because of how hard he worked and how he dealt with the problem.
“This example doesn’t just apply to football, it applies to life. The number one shirt is his for what happened. He deserves it because he is an example of how to look at life.”
On One Pack mentality at Wolves
“Without a doubt, I would say that we are all a family at Wolves. The former players are really good with us and they come to us and it’s good to talk with them, it’s all about experience.
“We feel like a family, we feel the support and how caring they are towards us. It’s always great to see them here and to feel that you are cared for by everyone.
“Feeling special makes you want to be better, makes you more willing to improve and we want to honour the club and every single player shows the love they have to towards this club. Just because we feel the love we feel like a family.”
On being more comfortable in his second season
“Yes of course. Last season was my first season here at the club, so everything was different, and everything was new.
“I’ve always played in Portugal and only last year did I change, and it’s been a completely new world; a new home, a new club, new people to play with, so it’s been a lot of changes, and obviously the language is one of them.
“This season has been better for me as I’ve been at ease with everything because every situation, I have faced is something I might have already dealt with.
“I believe I am doing better this season, but I also want to do more to grow as a player – and learn more English. I’m happy with the way I speak English at the moment, but I wouldn’t say that it’s enough for an interview!
“But I feel more at home this season. Without a doubt.”
On busy fixture schedule
“It’s very different, because in Portugal, we don’t play during the Christmas holidays, but I think it’s very good for the fans and everyone around, because families can enjoy the games together during the holidays.
“For my family, it’s also good because they like to see me perform and they like to see my play. For me, it’s also enjoyable because I like to compete, I don’t stop, and I also don’t eat as much chocolate!”
On facing the champions at Molineux
“I’m sure it will be an excellent game. It will be amazing for the fans to watch and enjoy. It’s always good to play in the holidays, not only for families to enjoy, but for us as players to enjoy as well.
“Playing against these sorts of teams is also a pleasure, especially if it’s against the Champions like Manchester City.
“They are an excellent team and although they are not in first place, I am sure it will be an excellent game because they have excellent players, an excellent manager, and I would say they are one of the best in the world.
“It will be an amazing game and playing against them will be even more special because they are one of the best, although all Premier League games are difficult, but this one will be competitive and extra special.
“When we talk about Champions, we want to be a part of this. We want to play against the best so we can be the best ourselves.”