Young Real Madrid forward Jese Rodriguez has said the step up from playing for Real Madrid Castilla to the first team has been a giant one.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed a fine season within Carlo Ancelotti’s first team squad at the Santiago Bernabeu, chipping in with eight goals in 30 appearances so far. Sadly for the youngster, his campaign was brought to an early end on Tuesday, when he snapped his anterior cruciate ligament in the Champions League match against Schalke. He will miss around six months of action.
In an interview with Uefa.com before the game took place, Jese, who has a contract with the club until 2017, said he initially struggled after being promoted as he was suddenly surrounded by global superstars.
“It’s been a gigantic step, because you come from the third level up into the first. So the steps you take get bigger and bigger, and then you start playing with world-class players, different kinds of players. There are really a lot of fantastic players at Real Madrid and you have to compete with them,” he said.
He added that all the senior players have been supportive, and picked out Cristiano Ronaldo for particular praise, saying the 29-year-old is the best in the world to learn from.
“You learn a lot from Cristiano every day. It’s clear to me especially and to all my team-mates that he is the best. He deserves all the awards there are, he’s a great professional. The thing that has most impressed me is the ambition he shows every day.”