‘Elche have to do what Escriba asks’

Jonathas has said that if Elche follow the plan set out by Coach Fran Escriba, they can cause an upset when Real Madrid visit.

Los Franjiverdes host Los Blancos at Martinez Valero on Sunday and Jonathas, the team’s top scorer, has spoken to AS in advance of the tie.

“I’m fine, happy. The season has been as I expected. I worked hard to get here and I’m happy for the team and myself,” he said.

“The key is to go onto the pitch with a game plan and to do what we do in training. If we do what the Coach asks of us, we can play a great game and score points.

“If I scored I would be even happier. I still have to work hard. Of course it’s harder to score [for a lower-ranked team].

“At Elche you might only get one chance, whereas for Madrid you might get five or six. But either way you have to be prepared.”

Jonathas was asked in which camp he lies, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, and revealed the identity of his all-time idol.

“I like Cristiano because he’s a very complete player, who lacks nothing. He won the Ballon d’Or because he deserved it,” he acknowledged.

“Madrid have big stars like Gareth Bale, Isco, Karim Benzema…they have a lot of quality and if you’re careless, you get in trouble. So we have to be careful.

“Cristiano or Messi? To me they’re the two best in the world. They are different – Messi plays with the ball stuck to his foot and Cristiano looks for spaces, with more physical strength.

“[Former Madrid and Barca forward] Ronaldo, the phenomenon [is my idol]. He has been since childhood, when I played on the streets in Brazil.

“There are other players I like, such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano, Messi, Neymar. I always watch them to see how they play and how I can improve.

“I know things change because nobody is perfect. When I go onto the pitch I don’t think or act in a particular way. I play and I do what I’m asked in the moment. I’m a spontaneous player.

“I’ve seen there is rumours of Sevilla and I’m happy with that but I haven’t talked to my agent about other teams in the future. Now I don’t care about that.

“I hope to have options at the end of the season but as yet I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I just think about the daily work and enjoy the present. I want to enjoy the good times.”

Tags Fran Escriba Jonathas