Jese Rodriguez blames injury for curtailing Real Madrid career
Striker Jese Rodriguez believes that he would have become a Real Madrid star had it not been for a cruciate ligament injury that thwarted his progress at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Now on a six-month loan at Las Palmas from Paris Saint-Germain, Jese was touted as the successor to Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez during his days with the Madrid Castilla team, but his knee injury in March 2014 stopped him in his tracks.
Preparing to return to the Santiago Bernabeu to face his former club, Jese has vowed not to celebrate, should he score a goal to help Las Palmas end their four-game losing streak when he has featured.
"I owe Real a lot, they are the team that welcomed me, as a person and as a young footballer," Jese told Marca.
"I owe them a lot and, out of respect and admiration, I wouldn't celebrate [a goal].
"I remind everyone that I was on course to surpass Raul's record in the Real first team, after I had surpassed Emilio Butragueno's goal tally for Castilla [Madrid's second team],
"It is not an excuse, it is reality that the injury I had was a brake on my career, both in football and in my personal life, and from there I've lost a lot. To have continuity, to play, to feel more secure and more comfortable, is difficult.
"The ones who know about this are the ones who have had injuries like mine. They are injuries that I do not wish on any footballer. That's the reality.
"I have thought about it. And I've never liked comparing myself to anyone, but I think I would be an undisputed starter for Real Madrid. Of that I'm sure."
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