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Life Before Wolves | Raul Jimenez

Raúl Jiménez has been a constant threat against Premier League defences since his arrival at Wolves on loan from Benfica in the summer.

The striker is the focal point of the Wolves attack and an ever-present as he wears the famous gold and black number nine shirt. Jiménez discusses how his time in Mexico, Spain and Portugal has made him the player he is today.

HOT PROSPECT

Club América | 2011-2014

It’s the biggest club in Mexico. I arrived there when I was just seven-years-old, all my young career was there, and I loved being part of that team. I’m very happy to see them follow my career and continue their interest in me as a player. They take care of me, they love me, so I’m proud that I will always be part of the team, and I can still feel their support here in Wolverhampton.

FIRST TASTE OF SUCCESS

Clausura Champions | 2013

When I started out with the Club América first-team I was 20-years-old, and we were in a bad moment. But soon after, there was a change of manager which helped improve the team. During my time at the club I helped achieve two titles, which was great. Winning the first title was amazing because in the previous two competitions we got to the semi-finals both times, so to go all the way and win it after coming so close made us all very happy. I was proud that I was able to achieve that title and to be a champion of Mexico at just 22-years-old was very good.

A YEAR IN SPAIN

Atlético Madrid | 2014-2015

It was different at Atlético. It’s always football, but here in Europe you play faster. In Mexico you have more time to think about what you need to do, so, at first, it was difficult for me to adapt. But I learnt a lot of things while at Atlético Madrid which helped me to be the player I am today. I played some minutes for them, but I always wanted more. I tried my hardest while I was there and did well in the training sessions, but I didn’t feel I was given enough of an opportunity. That was the manager’s decision and I always respect and accept that.

CHAMPIONS OF PORTUGAL

Benfica | 2015-present

It was a good move for me personally because I played a little bit more than I did at Atlético. When I first moved I was starting a lot of games, but, unfortunately, I did pick up a few injuries. Sometimes managers’ decisions and injuries impacted the amount of time I played and stopped me from showing what I could do, which I feel was one of the reasons I was not an essential part of the starting 11. Sometimes I would play just 15 minutes or 25 minutes, but I would always give 100 per cent and I was happy to get some assists and score goals to help the team win the league title.

GOLDEN SUMMER

Olympic Games | 2012

My first call-up to play for the Mexican national team was for the Toulon Tournament in 2012, just one month before the Olympics. I scored my first goal for my country in that competition, which we won, and I also won my place in the Olympics there. It was an amazing experience to be at the Olympics in England, and to win the gold medal is something that I will remember for the rest of my life – something I’m going to tell my sons and my grandsons. To return to Wembley with Wolves was very special, and to score a goal and win against Tottenham was amazing. It’s always an honour to play for my national team and represent my country all around the world. I’m proud of being part of the team and hope to have another chance to go to another World Cup.