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Joselu: “I’m not here to replace anyone, I’m here to work hard and bring experience”

All the quotes from Joselu’s introductory press conference.

Joselu Mato Press Conference As New Player Of Real Madrid Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 via Getty Images

The latest player presentation of Real Madrid’s summer was held on Tuesday, this time to welcome back former academy player Joselu. The striker has been given the No.14 shirt and held a press conference, while he also addressed Real Madrid directors, members and legends by stating: “I’ve been dreaming about this moment since the day I left. I am very excited. I would like to thank the president, José Ángel Sánchez and Carlo Ancelotti for the confidence placed in me. I’d also like to thank Espanyol and all their fans. Wearing the Real Madrid badge on my chest is the greatest honour and I’m going to give everything for this club. Hala Madrid!”

Joselu on his return to the club

The 33-year-old then appeared in the Valdebebas press room and was asked some more about his return to the club and how this transfer came about. To that, he said: “This transfer was only finalised a few days ago. You can only imagine what I felt when I heard of the interest. This might be one of the happiest days of my life, if my wife and children will forgive me for saying that. I was able to make my first division debut at the biggest club in the world and I have dreamt of returning. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in the last few years and now I’m happy to come back.”

Joselu on the No.14 shirt

Even though he is a centre-forward and the No.9 was available, Joselu will wear the No.14. On that decision, he said: “Any number in the Real Madrid first team is significant. Any player in the world would love to wear this shirt. For me, the number is a secondary thing. I enjoyed wearing the No.9 with Castilla, but that was a while ago. I’m just happy to have one of the numbers of the best 25 players in the world.”

Joselu on replacing Benzema

Asked about Karim Benzema and the challenge of replacing the Frenchman, Joselu replied: “I’m not here to replace anyone. I’m here to do what I can and bring the experience I’ve earned in the last few years. I’ll do whatever the coach asks of me. Benzema was one of the best players in the world for many years, but I’m here to do a different kind of work. As a striker, what you like to do is score goals. I’ll give all I can to do well here. I think we have a good enough squad, with other players who can score goals, but I’ve scored goals all my career and I see no reason why that shouldn’t continue here.”

Joselu on his role in the squad

Given there is a chance he might be the final signing of the summer, Joselu was asked if he feels ready to be the starting centre-forward if no more additions are made. He said: “I don’t know if more players will come or not. It’s not for me to say if more will come. I’m here to help however I can and to do what the coach asks of me. When I start to train with my players I’ll be excited to start. I haven’t been able to speak to the coach yet, but I know what I can bring individually and to the group.”

Joselu on his style of play

Discussing his style of play, he stated: “I’ve played with many different strikers and tried to learn a little something from each of them. I’m quite a physical player and I like to be in the area. Having played in different leagues, I’ve learned and developed a lot. I think I’ve had my best scoring seasons in the last few seasons and I want to continue that here.”

Joselu on sharing a dressing room with his brother-in-law

Joselu and Dani Carvajal are married to a pair of twins, so he was asked what it will be like to be a teammate of his brother-in-law, who he has already played with for the national team. To that, he said: “You can only imagine. Carvajal hasn’t said too much about it, but you can imagine how excited his wife and my wife are about it. We shared a dressing room 11 or 12 years ago and we had a good relationship then and, obviously, an even closer one now. I hope I can celebrate many successes with him.”

Joselu on going from supporter to player

The striker was present in Paris to support Carvajal and to support Real Madrid in the 2022 Champions League final and was asked what it feels like to go from being a fan to being a player. He replied: “I’ve never hidden my Madridismo, because I truly feel it and have supported this club since I was a kid. It’s true that I was supporting the team then, but you always dream of being able to achieve things like this that I’m experiencing today. I’ve always felt that I am a consistent and hard-working player, and that has paid off.”

Joselu on the changes at Real Madrid since he left

Asked if the club has changed since he was there, he spoke about Valdebebas and said: “There are more pitches and more buildings here than before. This place has continued growing in the past 12 years, just like this club keeps growing.”

Florentino Pérez’s speech about Joselu

At the ceremony to welcome back Joselu, Florentino Pérez also spoke and said: “Our youth academy is an example of the values of hard work, togetherness, self-improvement, humility, respect and solidarity, and it has been essential throughout our 121 years of history. Our shirt has been worn by many of the best players in the world and by youth players who have given us so much and who have been so important in maintaining and promoting our values. This is why today is a happy day for Madridistas, because one of our great academy graduates is returning. We welcome back a striker who has just won the Nations League with Spain. He is one of the great goalscorers of Spanish football and has played in three of the best leagues in the world, LaLiga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League. Across all of them he has scored a total of 90 goals. He has been such a goalscorer that he is even Alavés’ top scorer in the first division. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Alavés on their return to the first division of Spanish football.”

Pérez then spoke about how much this return means for Joselu, addressing the player as so: “I know what this moment means to you and your family. You are an academy graduate who has gone on to have success in the world of football thanks to your talent, quality and values. Now you are returning to Real Madrid, coming from Espanyol, a club we have a good relationship with. There, you scored 17 goals this past season and you won the Zarra Trophy as the top Spanish goalscorer in LaLiga. These numbers earned you a spot in the Spanish national team, where you have been a very important player in recent matches, with decisive goals like the one you scored against Italy or the penalty in the final against Croatia. Your goals, your work, your ambition and your way of being have led you back to Real Madrid. Your passion for Real Madrid will be, together with the support of our fans, one of your greatest strengths to achieve the success that awaits you. Joselu, congratulations and welcome home. Welcome to Real Madrid.”

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