Juanmi: “Karim Benzema is brilliant and always knows what to do”

For Juanmi Jiménez (Coín, 1993) today’s appointment takes on special importance. His 16 goals in the League invite him to fight until the last breath to be the top national scorer of the championship. With his injuries in oblivion, with a real candidacy for the Spanish team and with growing certainties in his game, the Malaga attends AS to dream of more. He does not want limits in the ambition of the Betis that comes. And he doesn’t want them in his performance either, despite the fact that he was close to outstanding this year.

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There were no Champions, but there was a continental ticket in his pocket and a title. How do you rate the season?

It is a very good campaign. From the first moment we have fought for the three competitions. We got the title we wanted so much and we were close to the Champions League.

Could you aspire to more?

The team was ambitious. We have been in many stretches of the season in the Champions League. We wanted to be as high as possible, but…

Juanmi's photo

Madrid, Barca, Atletico, Seville. How do you fight there?

Those teams have a much higher economic level, but the project is nice and has helped us to see that we can compete with them. It is the way to go. The mentality for the coming year is to be ambitious.

That team slump…

The campaign is always long and there are worse stretches, but if you think about specific games… They are points that are left, but they are things that can happen. The thorn of that fourth place remains, which would have been the icing on the cake of a perfect campaign.

What were the keys to this successful project?

The key is the group that there is. When you make a good pineapple everything goes better. The rotation is not noticeable. You look at a player and you know he will do well.

16 goals. And many others in the Cup and Europa League.

I knew what he was capable of. With continuity and confidence I knew I could do it.

What merit does Pellegrini have in this?

He has known me for twelve years. He knew that he could confidently give her many things. So it was.

Do you sometimes look back and think about those injuries?

Yes, that makes you value everything you do much more. I had never been injured. Then she got longer, but I’ve learned and I really value the moment I’m living now.

RdT, Iago Aspas. The fight to be the top national scorer is served.

It’s a nice thing when you’re there with a day to go fighting to get that. But I’m not obsessed. If the opportunity arises, I will be happy.

Do you think about the selection?

I’d be lying if I said no. It is a goal that any player has. You do things well to represent your country.

This week the image of Bellerín crying on the pitch had a lot of repercussion. What does it mean for you on the pitch and in the locker room?

It means a lot to us, on and off the pitch. Let’s see what the future holds. Hopefully things work out and we have him with us next year. If not, we will wish you the best.

How do you face the match against the champion with almost everything sentenced?

We will go to get the points because they are very important.

Do you think they will have an eye on the Champions League final?

I imagine so, albeit subconsciously. But we know what that field is.

In what sense?

We already know what Madrid is in its history. And in Champions they have something special that makes them give that plus. They have proven it.

Above in the table you have Karim Benzema. How do you see his season?

He’s brilliant, we know the kind of player he is. His goalscoring facet has been revealed more, he is in a spectacular moment.

It’s an example?

You always look at good strikers and he is. He always knows what to do at every moment of the games.

How is it possible to challenge Madrid in their stadium, are there arguments?

We have to be true to who we are. We have a style and with it we will try to harm them. It is always difficult.