Real Madrid forward Joselu has lashed out at former Barcelona defender Gerard Pique after the latter’s comments that Los Blancos’ last UEFA Champions League honour will not be remembered.
The 33-year-old on-loan striker has responded by saying that if you do not remember that final, he is still determining which one will be remembered.
Real Madrid’s last UCL triumph dates back to 2022 when Vinicius Jr. scored the only goal of the game as Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 at Stade de France.
“Damn, if you don’t remember that one, I don’t know which one is going to be remembered,” he was quoted by COPE.
“Not only because of what happened in the previous matches but in the final. I think it’s a title that will never be forgotten. In life, not only football-wise but for everything that happened,” he added.
Upon asking why Pique said it in the first place, the forward said, “What do I know, because he is from Barça and would he be envious?”
Joselu’s thoughts on his tenure so far
Earlier this season when Vinicius was nursing his injury, Joselu was given the goalscoring responsibility and it is safe to say that he did not disappoint. In 13 La Liga games so far, the forward has netted five times and when asked about his thoughts on this tenure, he said,
“I can tell you that I am very happy with what I am playing, what I am contributing. What I want is to continue contributing and giving solutions to moments when the coach needs me on the field.
“We all know the quality there is in that squad. I came to help as much as possible and I think that when the coach has trusted me I have responded quite well by scoring goals and giving the team points,” he explained.
“I have 5 [goals]. Some more should arrive. In the end, we forwards live on that and I am happy because the team generates and I have scoring chances, although it is impossible to score them all because even the best in the world have good days and bad days.
“I am I’m happy with the number of goals, you can always contribute a few more, but I’m left with the fact that the majority of the goals I’ve scored have been for the team to score,” he added.
“I always try to improve on the previous season. Last year I scored 17 and I hope this year I can score 18. If I score 18 goals, I think it’s a pretty good number.”
On Real Madrid teammates and manager
Rodrygo recently burst into his usual form and while he seems very happy with how he is playing, he did admit that he does not want to play as a number 9. While talking about it, Joselu said,
“It’s not that he doesn’t want to, but he still prefers to start from other positions. In any case, we have seen what a great player he is, everything he can contribute and everything he has given in recent days. He’s a very good boy.”
Talking about the form of Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Jr., Joselu said: “Bellingham? He can go from 22-23, easy. Vini? It’s whatever he sets his mind to.”
“Vini has conditions that make him very decisive in a game. When he is focused and with his goal set, there is no one who can stop him.
“We have seen it these last few days, people said that he didn’t score goals and he has scored 3 in the last two games. He is a player who will score 17-18-19 goals, for sure.”
When asked about his thoughts on Carlo Ancelotti, he added, “He has always been very sincere and very direct with me since the day I arrived.
“I am very happy because I am always an option among the changes he has, when a player has not been there he has counted on me and I only have words of gratitude. When he has played, well, and when not, also.”
On Barcelona rivalry
While answering a couple of questions regarding Real Madrid and Barcelona, he said that he is happy with how his team is playing at the moment and there is no comparison with Barcelona.
“They are winning and that is the important thing. Playing good football and winning, a few teams. Girona is playing good football and is winning, we have played good games and we have won, but we have also played bad games and we have also won.”
“Well, I think they are two different ‘footballs’ [Real Madrid and Barcelona]. Barça at the beginning of the season tried to have possession, these last games they have suffered a lot, but that is also what it consists of, adding three by three,” he explained.
On Yamal, Carvajal, and choosing between Mbappe and Haaland
The 33-year-old forward answered a series of questions regarding individual players, including Barcelona youngster Lamine Yamal, who has been selected in the Spanish squad for upcoming qualifiers.
Joselu said that everyone is taking great care of him. “We have to take great care of Yamal, he is a jewel that our country has and we have to support him a lot and help him daily.
“He is a fantastic boy and here what we do is support him because I think he is going to be a fundamental piece in the national team.”
Joselu and Dani Carvajal happen to be brothers-in-law and when asked if they get along well, he said, “We get along very well, but in training, we do get angry. The anger he has in training gets out more, but then the relationship is spectacular.
“He is like a plane, there is no one to stop him. And scoring goals and everything, just imagine. He is a phenomenon”
While answering the question about his preference between Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, he said, “Well, in the end, Real Madrid signs the best.
“I say it out of competition with you: “I have to add, I think the club is happy with me in that aspect and the coach has to have the option that if I can throw I’m there with a hand in any situation.”
He also talked about his teammate Arda Guler and his injuries, saying, “Well, he is a boy who has arrived very young and has had the bad luck of having a complicated injury.
“He has incredible conditions, he has a lot of quality and you have to have a lot of patience with him.
“Young people want everything from yesterday and now he has had a small relapse, but he is a player for the future who is going to give Real Madrid many things and the club is doing very well with him.”
Lastly, he also admitted that he hopes to continue at Real Madrid as he knows he can contribute a lot. “Hopefully, that is my goal. I hope I can stay another year and continue enjoying this. I know the role I can contribute to the club and not all teams have a profile like mine and it is very different from everything,” he said.
Real Madrid summer signing set to return to training soon – report
Real Madrid’s main goal heading into the summer transfer window was to wrap up the signing of Jude Bellingham amid massive interest from Premier League giants such as Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola’s City, especially, were ready to match and increase any salary Madrid offered, and were going strongly into the bidding war.
Eventually, Bellingham decided to join Madrid after they reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for €3 million.
However, following this, los blancos had to improvise a fair bit as Karim Benzema decided to leave the club to join Al-Ittihad on a free transfer. They were expecting him to continue for another season, at least, and it stumped their plans in the market.
In the next few weeks, Madrid chased forwards, and ended up signing Joselu, Brahim Diaz, and a certain Arda Guler, who was close to Barcelona before eventually ending up at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Unfortunately for Madrid, he is yet to play a single minute for the club after picking up a serious injury in pre-season. Despite being on the bench for a couple of games, Guler suffered a relapse in training, and was sidelined again.
Now, reports from Yagiz Sabuncuoglu say that the Turkish international is close to returning to team training.
Guler has slowly, but surely, been recovering from his injury, and could take to the pitch for his first minutes with the club in the next few weeks as Madrid look for solutions after a month full of injuries.
With Vinicius Jr, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois all out until early 2024, Madrid have relied on Castilla for reinforcements, but could do with Guler’s services in their forward line.
That said, Carlo Ancelotti and co. are expected to be extremely cautious when it comes to the Turkish international. The slightest spell of poor man-management here could make or break the youngster’s career.