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Euro 2024 qualifiers: 5 things to know about Spain's new striker Joselu.


PORTRAIT- Author of a double during his first selection with Spain last Saturday against Norway, Joselu has become the Spanish hero of the weekend. Here are 5 things to know about the Espanyol Barcelona striker.

German by birth

To discover

  • Euro 2024: qualifying schedule and results

  • Euro 2024: qualifying rankings

Joselu, by his full name José Luis Mato Sanmartin, was born in... Stuttgart, Germany.

A name that does not sound at all Germanic for the 33-year-old striker who celebrated his birthday on Monday March 27.

Shortly before his four years, he moved to Galicia with his parents, he the real “


” (Galician).

He also became during his first selection last Saturday against Norway, the 48th Galician player to wear the red jersey of Spain.

The opportunity for him to thank his club for his first call.

I am very proud and very happy to have been called up.

This is the Holy Grail for a player.

This season, Espanyol has helped me achieve this dream.


Record first selection

By scoring a brace in two minutes after just four touches and 140 seconds on the pitch, Joselu became the oldest Spanish international to score on his debut with the team since 2006. The Espanyol Barcelona striker was aged 32 years and 363 days exactly at the time of his exploit which allowed La Roja to win 3-0 against Norway.

He also became the first substitute in the history of the Spanish selection to score twice for his first cap.

A certain accomplishment for this player who went under the radar and who did not have the expected career, but as they say: "

better late than never


Joselu said to himself in a dream following Saturday's performance.


I still can't believe it.

Work pays.

I thank the coach (Luis de la Fuente) for everything, I responded brilliantly.

I feel like an 18-year-old kid

,” he said after the encounter.

A family link with another Spanish international

Joselu shares his life with Dutch-born Majorcan Melanie Cañizares, whom he married in 2016. Melanie Cañizares grew up in Mallorca with her twin sister Daphne, who has also been married to a Spanish international since the summer of 2022. following four years of relationship.

This is Real Madrid right-back defender Dani Carvajal.

The two men also met between 2010 and 2012 within the reserve of Real and they have kept very good relations, until they are now part of the same family.

A new family story in the Spanish selection after that between Luis Enrique and Ferran Torres.

Ferran Torres being the boyfriend of the former coach's daughter.

Read alsoFoot: Spaniard Sergio Busquets announces his international retirement

Real Madrid on the CV

If Joselu has been playing at Espanyol Barcelona since the start of the season, he went through the Real Madrid box several years ago now.

After training at Celta Vigo between 2009 and 2010 where he discovered La Liga, the Galician player joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2010, with whom he played for the reserves for two seasons.

For a total of 40 goals in 72 matches.

Such statistics allow him to open the doors of the first team.

Unfortunately for him, he only plays two games in the merengue jersey in a year.

Even if in two matches played, he even has the surprising ratio of one goal per match, because yes, he scored two goals in these two matches.

But Real is a cruel market which did not give him the chance to show more.

In 2012, the club from the Spanish capital

Read alsoFoot: Spain had "no plan B" plague Iago Aspas about former coach Luis Enrique

Imperial in the air

La Liga's third top scorer (tied with Iago Aspas, Celta Vigo) has 12 goals after 23 appearances this season.

Recognized for his finish, which he was able to expose to the general public against the teammates of Erling Haaland (who was absent for the occasion), his qualities convinced Luis de la Fuente to choose him and it did him great good.

The new Spanish coach, who also started on the bench of La Roja, decided to call for his first list, the four best Spanish scorers in the local championship as center forwards (Joselu, Aspas, Iglesias and Morata).

Another feat of arms, the Espanyol player dominates La Liga in a very specific statistical category, that of aerial duels.

Not so surprising when you know that the boy is 1m92 tall.

Strong in deviation and head,

he averages more than five headed duels per game (5.6 to be exact).

Finally, he was also in the 21st century (before the start of the season), the player with the highest goal percentage against Real Madrid in La Liga (78%) ahead of Luis Suarez, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-03-28

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