Las Palmas forward Jese Rodriguez believes he would be a star at Real Madrid now had it not been for a cruciate ligament injury earlier in his career.
The 24-year-old suffered the knee injury in March 2014 to halt the forward’s remarkable progress through the ranks at the Bernabeu and is now on a six-month loan at hometown club Los Amarillos from Paris Saint-Germain.
"I owe Real a lot, they are the team that welcomed me, as a person and as a young footballer," Jese told Marca, ahead of his first trip back to Madrid since joining the Parisians this summer.
"I owe them a lot and, out of respect and admiration, I wouldn't celebrate [a goal].
"I remind everyone that I was on course to surpass Raul's record in the Real first team, after I had surpassed Emilio Butragueno's goal tally for Castilla [Madrid's second team],
"It is not an excuse, it is reality that the injury I had was a brake on my career, both in football and in my personal life, and from there I've lost a lot. To have continuity, to play, to feel more secure and more comfortable, is difficult.
“The ones who know about this are the ones who have had injuries like mine. They are injuries that I do not wish on any footballer. That's the reality.
"I have thought about it. And I've never liked comparing myself to anyone, but I think I would be an undisputed starter for Real Madrid. Of that I'm sure."