How Joselu went from Stoke City to Real Madrid stardom
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How Joselu went from Stoke City to Real Madrid stardom

09/05/24 16:09

From zero to hero.

Imagine watching as a fan the UEFA Champions League 2022 final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Then imagine scoring two goals to give your team the ticket to the final two years later. Yes, that is everyone's dream and Joselu made it come true. Never fall in love with a loaned player, they said. Well, it seems too late for Real Madrid fans after yesterday's performance.

Joselu, man of the match performance

The former Stoke City player qualified to the final after scoring a brace in the dying seconds of the game when his team was behind the score. Three minutes after Alphonso Davies scored, Ancelotti gave Joselu a chance to turn the situation around. Los Blancos dominated throughout the game but couldn't open the scoreboard as Neuer had an exceptional game until the 88th minute.

Vinicius tried it from the long distance and surprisingly Neuer couldn’t catch the ball as it bounced right in front of him and Joselu sneaked behind Eric Dier and tapped it in to equalize the leg. The job wasn't finished and only 80 seconds later, Joselu scored the second goal which gave Real Madrid the pass to the final.

Real Madrid will be looking to lift their fifteenth Champions League thanks to an unexpected hero. At the age of 34 and an extensive career, Joselu never imagined before this summer he´d be back at his childhood club let alone scoring a brace in the semifinals of the Champions League.

What this game meant to Joselu

A die-hard fan who has always shown his love for the club. From a tweet from 2012, where he asked for a link to watch a Real Madrid game, to attending the Paris 2022 UCL final with his dad to support Real Madrid as a fan. The forward has never hidden his passion for the club and now given the chance, he has proved to have enough quality to be in the squad.

With that, he is now on his 17th goal of the season, ranking third in the Real Madrid squad for most goals scored and all of this as a loanee. Not many people were confident at the start of the season, a striker that came from RCD Espanyol who were relegated this year to the Second Division. “There were probably many people which doubted me at the start of the season, but the work and confidence from the club ended to bear fruits.

Joselu´s career is nothing but an average football player. In 2012, he had no choice but leaving Real Madrid and joining Hoffenheim. Since that, he played for Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96, Deportivo de la Coruña, Alavés and Espanyol. In between them, Stoke City and Newcastle fans will remember him.

During the 2015-2016 season, Joselu played for the Potters, scoring only fours goals in 22 Premier League games. Throughout his time at Newcastle, Joselu played a total of 46 PL games scoring six goals. A disappointing spell in the Premier League that made his go back to Spain.

His season at Real Madrid has been superb, with a likely option that Real Madrid will trigger the buy option from the loan deal with Espanyol. Might not play every single minute but when he gets given the chance, Joselu will take advantage of it. Nine goals in La Liga and five in Champions League so far. A total of 17 goals for a player who regularly starts from the bench.

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