Jese Rodriguez explained that his decision to leave boyhood club Real Madrid for Paris Saint-Germain was motivated by a desire for more playing time, but he wished his former employees well – except in the Champions League.
The 23-year-old penned a five-year deal at the Parc des Princes on Monday after the Ligue 1 champions agreed a reported €25million deal with Madrid.
Jese won two Champions League medals and a La Liga title during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, but a serious knee injury sustained in March 2013 hindered his progress.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema occupying Madrid’s forward positions, playing time has been hard to come by for Jese in recent seasons and he is now focused on helping his new club replicate their domestic dominance in Europe.
“After 10 years at Real Madrid, it was time to change,” he told the media after completing his move.
“I’m at a great club that gives me the chance to progress as player. Surely here I will have more minutes.
“I had some words with [Madrid coach Zinedine] Zidane, he’s a great person. He wanted me to play and he knew it was going to be difficult.
“I also want to thank to [Madrid president] Florentino Perez and my team-mates.”
Jese’s kind words did not extend to wishing Madrid well in the Champions League, though, given he is now in direct competition with his old club for the coveted title.
“During the time I have spent at Real Madrid I always gave my best,” he added.
“They will be always in my heart, but I don’t wish the best for them in Europe as I want to win with my team.”