Juan Miguel Jimenez Lopez (Coín, Málaga, 1993) officially became Juanmi when with 16 years debuted with Malaga on the Copa del Rey. A historic day crowned with a goal. Harbinger of a football career that has led to a bad experience in the Premier already consolidate into a Betis who rubs shoulders with the greats of the League. Today the real Madrid. In the distance, the world. Talk about everything with THE WORLD.
- Betis is leader of the League together with Madrid and you are the starter. He has scored two goals in three games and last season he scored 20. Do you dream of the World Cup?
- Well, I’m happy to start well, with three wins, and on an individual level that things continue to go well for me. As an ambitious player that I am, I’m not going to lie, there’s a World Cup and I’m going to try to do things well at Betis to make it difficult for the coach.
- And now, Real Madrid.
- It has some of the best in the world. Kroos, Modric… Although they are a certain age, they continue to give a spectacular level, they show that age does not matter, that what matters is performance. And then also unbalanced footballers like Vinicius or Benzema. They are players that any team would like to have.
- He made his debut with Málaga at the age of 16. How did he affect you?
- It all happened very quickly. Two years passed from the cadet stage to debut. I was lucky enough to be a fairly focused boy, who has never gone to my head, and he approached it like the dream he had as a child: to enjoy being a professional player.
- The whole town would know him.
- Yes, but it was quiet. He was surrounded by a very good circle of friends and family. I didn’t really realize what was going on. I was going to train and fulfill my dream, people knew me but I didn’t give it importance.
- Always soccer?
- And tennis. I really, not like Joaquín (laughs). I was good at it but there came a time, when I was eight years old or so, when I had to choose and I left tennis. I started at Málaga and I didn’t have time for both sports.
- Do you think street football has been lost?
- I started on the street. When I was four years old they enrolled me in the town school but I always played in the street with older people. That is the essence of football, it is where you get mischievous and today I reflect it on the field. That football has been lost a bit, the kids have better facilities and facilities.
- At the age of 22, he left Málaga and signed for Southampton in the Premier League. It was complicated?
- Yes, very difficult, but I thought it was time to take that step. Although it is true that on a sporting level things didn’t work out because I didn’t have the opportunity to show the player that he was. But it helped me mature on a personal level, which was also important.
- Aren’t LaLiga players amazed by all the money that the Premier moves?
- Yes… Now what I see is that they are making more moves between clubs there. I think they no longer look so much at LaLiga players. Before Cucurella, the last one to go there was Fornals, several years ago. I think they don’t watch the Spanish league so much and they want to strengthen the market there.
- Is LaLiga devaluing itself?
- No way. In recent years, Spanish football has shown that it continues to have one of the most important leagues in the world, there are teams going far in Europe, Madrid champions of the Champions League… The level is still high and that is what must be preserved.
- A reference.
- I have always looked at Raúl, he has been my reference. He seemed to me that he played like me. I liked his liveliness and intelligence.
- How bad do you have it when you accumulate games without scoring a goal?
- When I was young it affected me much more, I took my work home. But now over the years I have tried to mature and learn. Get home, get a smile and escape.
According to the criteria of
- Luka modric
- real Madrid
- Real Betis Balompie
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