Jimenez ready for Atleti challenge

Raul Jimenez insists he is ready to challenge for a place in Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone’s starting line-up.

The Mexican international striker was snapped up from Club America in the summer for €10m but has so far failed to adapt to the demands of La Liga, having started only three times and scored once.

Jimenez, 23, has been left out of the last four squads selected by Simeone and has not had any playing time since October 4, when he replaced Arda Turan for the final 21 minutes of a 3-1 defeat to Valencia.

Simeone is understood to have spoken to the player personally and encouraged him to keep his chin up and try to force his way into the side, a message Jimenez is keen to take on board.

“He told me I’ve got to be patient, relaxed, and he shows me in training what I’ve got to do to get minutes on the pitch,” he told reporters.

“I’ve been through these kind of experiences several times and learned to overcome them. I hope it’s the same this time.

“I’ve always been encouraged and I want to play, so I’m not going to give in. I’ll give 100 per cent to be considered, to be taken into account.”

Jimenez maintained that being called up to play for his country for the friendly with Belarus in Borisov on Tuesday has at least given him back some belief, particularly since he scored both Mexico goals in a 3-2 defeat.

“Nobody said it was going to be easy. There are challenges you have as a footballer and as a person, but I’ll continue to fight and over time things are going to get better.

“If I’ve got to redouble my efforts then I will, which is what I’ve always done in my career.

“Being picked for Mexico has helped to prove I am able to do things, that I’m ready for whatever is around the corner and I can do well,” he concluded.

Tags Raul Jimenez Simeone