Joselu doffs hat to Real Madrid
The start has been far from ideal for Real Madrid in this season’s La Liga as they have slipped to fourth in the standings, winning only five of their nine appearances so far.
That said, they are a team that should never ever be underestimated, reminded Alaves striker Joselu, himself a former Madrid player.
Joselu would be among those Zinedine Zidane and Co. may have to worry about when the reigning champions face Alaves this Saturday. Madrid are winless in their last two games of the league, but that doesn’t diminish their quality at all, Joselu stressed.
“It is still early in the season to say that Madrid are not doing well, because we have had only 10 match days and there is a lot to play for.
“Obviously, they have not won all the points they could have won, but Real Madrid are always Real Madrid, the best team in the world.
“You should never think that Real Madrid will not be doing because in the next week or the next month they can come back by winning six-seven matches in a row and occupy top spot,” Joselu said, responding to a query from The Telegraph in a virtual global conference organised by La Liga.
It was in the summer of 2010 when Joselu, only 20 then, arrived at Madrid with 30 appearances for Celta Vigo senior side under his belt. And on May 21 next year, the then manager Jose Mourinho handed him a Madrid senior debut in the 8-1 win over Almeria, the game where Joselu scored too, after coming in as a late replacement for Karim Benzema.
Joselu didn’t play many matches for the senior Madrid team, but the club remains special for him. “Matches against Madrid are very special to me. The feeling itself is special, no matter whether you play for or against such a club.
“I’ve been lucky to play in the best club in the world and lucky to even score a goal at the best stadium in the world (Bernabeu), donning Real Madrid colours. I have also got friends in the (current) Real Madrid first team.
“Coming Saturday we’ll be playing at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, a venue where I played many more matches with the Real Madrid B team (Castilla),” he said.
Joselu, though, didn’t forget to serve his former club a warning. “I may not have scored many goals this year, but I had fewer opportunities.
“However, I’ve had a high percentage of goals against Real Madrid, so this Saturday I do believe the percentage will get higher.”
Having played for clubs like Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96 and Stoke City, Joselu acknowledged that the English Premier League is the toughest of all leagues.
“I did adapt well at the Bundesliga, but the transition to EPL was demanding to say the least. It’s very fast out there in the Premier League with the style of play being kind of vertical.
“I’m indeed fortunate to have played in the three best leagues in the world. But I think the most difficult one is the Premier League,” he said.