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Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina has declared his pride at sharing a team with Petr Cech, even though the arrival of the Chelsea legend at the Emirates Stadium has seen his playing time restricted. The 27-year-old Colombia international also admitted his desire to return to his homeland to play for his beloved Atletico Nacional.
Ospina moved to North London from Ligue 1 side Nice in the summer of 2014 after an impressive World Cup campaign with his national team. He had a wait to prove his worth in the Premier League but eventually managed to usurp Wojciech Szczesny from the number one role and becoming a key figure in the club's excellent form in the second half of the 2014/15 campaign.
However, the Colombian has had few chances to replicate that form since the arrival of Cech from Chelsea in the summer. He has played only in the cups following a shaky Champions League performance earlier in the season during a 3-2 home loss to Olympiakos.
But asked by fans about his relationship with the former Stamford Bridge hero, Ospina said: "Everyone knows who is Petr Cech. He is a great goalkeeper and now as I have him as a teammate I also know that he is a great person."
"He is a goalkeeper who has won many titles, he has played for some great teams and here in England has done very important things. Having him as a teammate is a source of pride."
Ospina's future at Arsenal have been under scrutiny since the summer, amid reports linking him with the likes of Everton. The Colombian failed to respond to those speculations but admits that before hanging his boots he would like to return to Atletico Nacional, where he began his career before moving to France in 2008.
"Nacional are the team I love, the team that gave me the opportunity to be a footballer and the one I support," he said. "Every time I bring those memories to my mind [I remember] moments of pride and happiness. From here I still give them force to keep going and I hope to return to play there someday."
Ospina also named Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas and Juventus star Gianluigi Buffon as his two idols, while admitting his current admiration for Manchester United hero David De Gea, Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois and Manuel Neuer.
"I have always admired Iker Casillas and Buffon. They made their debuts in great teams while still very young and managed to keep there for a long time, proving themselves and winning important titles," the Arsenal keeper said. "Today there are some really good prospects as Neuer, De Gea or Courtois ... The goalkeeper position is improving and right now there are some really good ones. It is pride for the goalkeeper as it is a very nice position, but also very difficult."