I wish I did more at Atletico – Jimenez

The Mexico international spent just a year in the Spanish capital before joining Benfica

Wolves star Raul Jimenez has admitted he has regrets over his unsuccessful spell at Atletico Madrid.

The Mexico international spent a season with the Spanish outfit, having joined from Club America in 2014.

Jimenez managed just one goal in 28 appearances in all competitions for Diego Simeone’s team as Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres got the nod ahead of him.

And the attacker wishes he had enjoyed more success in the Spanish capital, but says he is happy with what he has achieved since.

“I didn’t feel sad. I think all the changes have been for the good. I would have liked to have done more at Atletico. I was only there for a year,” he told Marca.

“I realised that the football was faster, it took hard work but after everything I’ve been through, it worked and now I am where I am because I haven’t given up.” 

Jimenez left Atletico to join Benfica in 2015 and had better luck in Portugal.

He netted 31 times in 120 matches as the Lisbon side lifted two Primeira Liga titles as well as the Taca de Portugal and Taca da Liga.

After three years there, he was loaned to Wolves and ended up joining the English club on a permanent basis in 2019.

His record with the Premier League side has been even better, as his 39 goals in 88 appearances have helped make him a fan favourite at the Molineux Stadium.

Jimenez is proud that he has become such a pivotal player for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team, which trumps his spells in Spain and Portugal.

He added: “I would have liked to have been more important at Atletico or at Benfica, but now I am the important player that my team-mates, the club and the fans need, and what I have done is paying off.”

Wolves are currently sixth in the Premier League table and just two points behind Manchester United – rivals for a Europa League spot.

Santo’s men are already in the knockout round of this season’s Europa League, having drawn 1-1 with Olympiacos in the first leg of their last-16 tie before all competitions were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.