Jimenez wants Atleti starting role

Striker Raul Jimenez says he has not come to Atletico Madrid to play second fiddle and wants a place in Diego Simeone’s starting line-up.

The 23-year-old was snapped up from Club America in August for fee of around €11m and made his competitive debut in the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana against Real Madrid, playing the final 12 minutes in place of fellow debutant Mario Mandzukic.

Furthermore, having started alongside Mandzukic in the opening La Liga game against Rayo Vallecano, he believes he is good enough to stay in the side and earn a regular berth with Los Colchoneros this term.

“I’m ready. There is nothing to wait for. I want to earn a spot in the team very soon, although I know the quality of my teammates and it won’t be easy,” he told the Record.

“I’ve come here to show Atletico Madrid what I can do and make my name in European football. I’m young, but if they came and found me it’s because they believe I can play at this level.

“I know I’m going to be judged on the goals I score, and I’ll be looking for them because that’s my job, but I also know I must press when the Coach asks me.

“In this team everybody defends and everybody attacks, so you must be prepared for that.”

Atleti face cross-city rivals Real Madrid in the derby this weekend and Jimenez is looking forward to meeting up with countryman Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, following his signing from Manchester United.

“What a coincidence that we’ve both signed for teams in the Spanish capital. Hopefully we’ll see each other on the pitch. That would be very nice, as long as it’s me who scores for Atletico Madrid.

“He’s a great footballer who already has experience of European football. Both of us are players that like to get in the box and search for goals, yet we are physically different and each of us has our own characteristics,” he maintained.

Tags Club America Raul Jimenez Simeone