Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says off-field considerations will not matter when he has to choose between world-record signing Gareth Bale or in-form youngster Jese Rodriguez.
With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended both Jese, 20, and Bale, 24, started Sunday’s 3-0 La Liga win at Getafe, with the former looking sharp and opening the scoring with another beautifully taken goal, while the latter again struggled to make an impact and did not appear fully fit.
Asked at his postmatch press conference whether it was realistic that Madrid president Florentino Perez’s 101 million euro signing could really be left out of the team when Ronaldo returns from his ban, Ancelotti gave a cryptic answer.
“I am a coach, not an administrator,” Ancelotti said. “I only talk about the football side of things. I am not surprised at Jese -- he is playing really well and scoring goals. We have all spoken a lot about him. I hope he carries on like this.”
Despite being marked by La Liga debutant Carlos Vigaray, Bale had a subdued afternoon at Getafe, scuffing his one clear chance well wide from close range midway through the first half -- although his boss claimed to be happy with the winger's contribution.
“[Bale] did not score but he had a good chance,” Ancelotti said. “I do not ask forwards to score, but to help the team. He did well like the rest of the team, more with the quantity of the work put in than the quality of what he did.”
Jese told reporters that he was delighted with his form but he is not getting carried away with all the praise coming his way.
“I am pleased with the goals that I am giving to the team,” the Canary Islander said. “I hope to continue this way and score more. I try to help the team and use all of the minutes I get. That is my job and that’s what I have to do. One day there will not be so much praise and then I will have to deal with that. Maybe this is my best moment in football, but I always want more. That is how ambitious I am.”
Those ambitions now stretch to a call-up to Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain squad for this summer’s World Cup, the youngster admitted.
“It is not impossible,” Jese said. “But there is a great generation who are world champions and they are fantastic players. I just need a chance, but it is going to be very tough.”