Raul Jimenez is “very grateful” to Atletico Madrid for bringing him to Europe but hints he will not be returning to the club next season.
The Mexican striker arrived at the Vicente Calderon last summer but scored just one goal in 29 appearances and was subsequently loaned out to Benfica, where he has since become a first-team regular.
And while he insisted he was not bitter about how his adventure in the capital went, Jimenez appeared to come to terms with the fact that his Atleti career was over.
“I’m happy in [Lisbon] and integrating myself more into the team. I try to show [my quality] in every game,” he told Marca.
“No-one told me it’d be easy, but European football is like that.
“Cholo [Simeone] made his decision, but I learned a lot from him.
“Here [at Benfica], I’m being given a chance, and I’m satisfied with the minutes I’ve received and my performances.
“I recently realised that I was already close to passing my minutes from last season.
“In addition, I’ve been able to score three goals and I hope everything stays that way.
“I’ve been given vote of confidence by both the Coach and my new teammates.
“I also received one at Atletico, but here it’s higher and I really appreciate it.
“El Cholo decided whether or not to play me, but I never stopped working hard.
“Those are decisions that the Coach has to make, and the player must accept them in the best way.
“I learned many things every day from him and taken them on board
“I arrived from Mexico with the dream of playing, and at first it was difficult
“I never put a bad face on at Atletico and tried to train hard for my sake, keep growing as a player and continue giving my best.
“Although the experience was not very positive in terms of minutes, I’m very grateful to Atletico for having brought me to European football.
“Now that I’m at Benfica, I also thank them for thinking of me, despite not having had a good season at Atletico.”