Jesé Rodríguez Ruiz (Spanish pronunciation: [xeˈse roˈðɾiɣeθ ˈrwiθ]; born 26 February 1993), known as Jesé Rodríguez or simply as Jesé, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a forward for Paris Saint-Germain.
Jesé playing for Spain U19 in 2012
|Full name||Jesé Rodríguez Ruiz|
|Date of birth||26 February 1993|
|Place of birth||Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|2011–2013||Real Madrid B||80||(32)|
|2017||→ Las Palmas (loan)||16||(3)|
|2017–2018||→ Stoke City (loan)||13||(1)|
|2019||→ Betis (loan)||14||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 May 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 October 2016
An academy graduate of La Liga side Real Madrid, Jesé made his senior debut in 2011 and made 94 appearances across all competitions for the club, scoring 18 goals. During his time in Madrid, which was disrupted by a serious knee injury in 2014, he won two Champions League medals, as well as a title in each of La Liga, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey. Jesé left the club in 2016 to join Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain for a reported fee of €25m, before returning to Spain six months later to join hometown club Las Palmas on loan for the remainder of the season. Jesé then joined Premier League side Stoke City on loan for the 2017–18 season and later Betis for the second half of the 2018–19 La Liga campaign.
On the international stage, Jesé earned 36 caps at youth level for Spain from under-16 to under-21 level, scoring 16 international goals. He was part of the Spain U19 side which won the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship and claimed the Golden Boot award for ending as the tournament's top goalscorer.
Born in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Jesé began his footballing career with local team Huracán in 2005, whom he joined from amateur side El Pilar. His form at youth level for the club saw him attract interest from La Liga sides Espanyol, Mallorca and Barcelona, but he opted to sign for Real Madrid's youth system in 2007, aged 14. Jesé made his senior debut for the Real Madrid Castilla side on 16 January 2011 in a 5–0 Segunda División B home win over Universidad de Las Palmas. His performance throughout the match, which included an assist for Dani Carvajal, drew early comparisons to fellow Real Madrid teammate and multiple Ballon d'Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. Jesé spent most of the season with Real Madrid's Juvenil A team, however, and enjoyed a successful 2010–11 campaign which earned him a permanent promotion to the Castilla side.
2011–13: Youth and entrance to the first team squadEdit
In July 2011, Jesé was selected by first-team manager José Mourinho for the club's pre-season tour of the United States and made his non-competitive debut for Real Madrid in a friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy, coming on as a 64th minute substitute for José Callejón and scoring in a 5–1 win. He returned to the Castilla for the start of the season and scored his first goal on 2 October 2011 against La Roda CF, finishing an assist from Álvaro Morata in a 4–2 away loss. Having impressed with the reserve side during the first half of the season, Jesé was handed his senior debut on 12 December in the first round of the Copa del Rey, replacing Ronaldo for the final fifteen minutes of a 2–0 away triumph over SD Ponferradina. After the match Jesé dedicated his debut to his family who had supported him in fulfilling his dream. He made his first La Liga appearance on 24 March 2012, once again replacing Ronaldo for the last ten minutes of a 5–1 home win over Real Sociedad. Aside from his two senior appearances, Jesé made 39 appearances and scored 10 goals for Castilla as the club was crowned Segunda División B champions. The senior side were also crowned champions of La Liga, having claimed the title with two games to spare in early May.
The following season, after criticism that players from the Castilla were not being given a fair chance, Mourinho stated that it was difficult to do so as the senior side played a different style to the reserves. He also highlighted the position Jesé was being played in as one that did not exist in the main squad. Jesé's lack of opportunity prompted agent Ginés Carvajal to publicly state that they would need to study options for the player's future if he was not permanently promoted to the first team the following year with the guarantee he would receive more playing time. In February 2013, in an interview with Marca, Jesé spoke out against his lack of senior game, stating that he was confident he was doing well enough to be granted an opportunity and, while he tried to learn as much as he could from Mourinho, he was a manager who surrounded himself with players who had already made their name. Club chairman Florentino Pérez and B-side coach Alberto Toril both defended Jesé for his comments, although the latter advised that he should learn to control his emotions.
In spite of his struggles in breaking into the first-team, Jesé continued to excel for the Castilla and on 2 June he broke the record for most goals scored in a single season for the reserve side, netting a solo goal in a 4–0 home win over AD Alcorcón to surpass the record of 21 goals set by Emilio Butragueño in 1983–84. Jesé's success drew praise from Pérez who described him as the jewel in the crown of Los Blancos' academy. He ended the season with 22 goals to his name in 38 appearances, earning the Zarra Trophy for the top Spanish goalscorer in the league, and on 18 June reiterated his desire to stay at Real Madrid in order to fight for a place in the first team.
2013–17: Rising influence, injury and declineEdit
While at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup with Spain, Jesé was the subject of mass media speculation that he could be leaving Real Madrid following his lack of game-time with the first team the season before. The club's technical director, Miguel Pardeza, categorically stated on 13 July that the player would remain at the club, however, and Jesé extended his contract for a further four years later in the same month, signing a deal worth more than €1 million a year and which contained a €200 million release clause.
Jesé was handed his Champions League debut on 2 October 2013 by new club manager Carlo Ancelotti, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute for Karim Benzema in a 4–0 group stage victory over F.C. Copenhagen. He scored his first competitive goal for Real Madrid in his first El Clásico appearance on 26 October, netting in injury-time from a Ronaldo assist in a 2–1 loss at Barcelona. On 23 November, Jesé came on as a second-half substitute against UD Almería and contributed with his first two assists for the first team in a 5–0 away win. He enjoyed a fine run of form between the back end of 2013 and March 2014, where he netted a late winner at Valencia, scored his first Copa del Rey goal in a 2–0 win over CA Osasuna and netted in league encounters against Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal and Getafe. On 18 March, however, just two minutes into Real Madrid's Champions League's round-of-16 second leg game against Schalke, Jesé suffered a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee following a challenge from Sead Kolašinac and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. He ended the season with 5 goals and 4 assists to his name in 18 league appearances, and 8 goals in 31 matches across all competitions as Real Madrid went on to lift the Copa Del Rey and Champions League trophies.
After spending nine months on the sidelines, Jesé returned from injury for the second leg of Real Madrid's tie against UE Cornellà in the Copa del Rey round of 32 on 2 December 2014, replacing Sami Khedira after 57 minutes and scoring the last goal of a 9–1 aggregate victory. On his injury, Jesé stated: "I had a very tough time, but I think that things in life happen for a reason. Maybe I had the injury because I needed to learn and become a more mature footballer." Later that month he was included in the club's squad which won the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, making a substitute appearance in a 4–0 win over Cruz Azul in the semi-finals. He scored the first of his three La Liga goals for the season on 4 February 2015 in a 2–1 victory over Sevilla. Jesé struggled to break back into the first team following his injury though, starting only 3 of his 23 appearances for the season, and by the end of the campaign it was reported that he had grown frustrated at the club and was looking to leave in the summer.
Jesé opted to remain in Madrid for the 2015–16 season as he sought to break into the first team under new club manager Rafa Benítez. However, he found competition for places tough and was limited to just 1252 minutes of football across all competitions under Benítez and his successor, Zinedine Zidane. In spite of his lack of game time, Jesé still managed to contribute 6 goals and 8 assists for the season and was regularly used as a back-up in the team's triumphant 2015–16 UEFA Champions League campaign.
It would ultimately be Jesé's final season at the club as at the end of the season, with one year remaining on his contract, he agreed to sign for reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. He made 63 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid during his ten-year stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, of which 49 were substitute appearances, and scored 13 goals. In total, across all competitions, Jesé amassed 96 appearances and 18 goals for the club, departing with two Champions League titles and one apiece in La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the Club World Cup to his name.
On 8 August 2016, Jesé joined French side Paris Saint-Germain on a five-year deal for a reported transfer fee of €25 million. The deal included an 'anti-Barcelona' clause which prevented PSG from selling Jesé to Real Madrid's fierce La Liga rivals Barcelona in the future. He made his debut on 13 August, coming on as a substitute for Hatem Ben Arfa in a 1–0 away win over Bastia. Jesé was ruled out for a short period soon thereafter as a result of him suffering from appendicitis. Following his return, he scored his first goal for the club on 19 November, netting from the penalty-spot in a 2–0 win over Nantes. He made his Coupe de la Ligue debut on 14 December and scored the third goal in a 3–1 win over Lille.
Jesé struggled to settle in Paris, however, and by the end of the year he had only started in one of his nine league appearances for the club. His lack of form and infrequent game time, which totaled 358 minutes, prompted manager Unai Emery to suggest that he would be leaving the club during the January transfer window in order to rediscover his form.
2017: Loan to Las PalmasEdit
On 31 January 2017, Jesé signed for Las Palmas on loan until the end of the season. Club chairman Miguel Ángel Ramírez revealed that he had taken a massive pay cut in order to join his hometown club. The next day, he was presented in front of 9,000 fans at the Estadio de Gran Canaria, and pledged to do all he could to help the club qualify for European football. He debuted for the club on 6 February, coming on as a second-half substitute for Vicente Gómez in a 1–0 loss away to Granada, and made his first start the following week in a loss to Sevilla by the same scoreline.
On 1 March, Jesé returned to the Santiago Bernabéu for the first time ahead of Las Palmas' La Liga encounter with Real Madrid. During the build-up to the match, he revealed that he owed a debt to Real Madrid for welcoming him at the club and blamed the cruciate ligament injury he suffered as the reason for him not becoming a star with them. He also defended his previous criticism of former manager José Mourinho, stating that he has no regrets over his actions. Jesé started in the match between the two sides which ultimately ended in a 3–3 draw. He scored his first goals for the club four days later, netting a brace in a 5–2 league win over Osasuna. The result was Jesé's first win with Las Palmas, after the club failed to record a victory in its previous five matches following his arrival. He ultimately made 16 appearances for the campaign, scoring three goals and registering an assist as the side dropped to end the season in fourteenth position. Upon the conclusion of Jesé's loan agreement, Las Palmas elected not to attempt to sign him permanently, with his poor overall performance, high salary demands and off-field behaviour ultimately contributing to the club's decision.
2017–18: Loan to Stoke CityEdit
On 16 August 2017, Jesé joined Premier League club Stoke City on loan for the 2017–18 season. Despite having only trained once with the team following his arrival, he made his debut on 19 August and scored the only goal in a 1–0 win over Arsenal. In December 2017, Jesé left the stadium early during Stoke's match against Swansea City after manager Mark Hughes made all of his substitutes and left him on the bench. He was subsequently disciplined by the club. In unrelated circumstances, he missed the next match against Tottenham Hotspur and a number of subsequent matches as he had been granted compassionate leave to visit his prematurely born son in the Canary Islands.
He made his return on 10 February 2018 in Stoke's 1–1 draw with Brighton and in the final minutes of the match won a penalty after being fouled by Dale Stephens. Teammate, and regular Stoke penalty-taker, Charlie Adam denied a visibly angered Jesé the opportunity the take the penalty but saw his effort saved by Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan. New club manager Paul Lambert later denied that there was any rift between the players following the match. The following month, Jesé was again afforded compassionate leave after his son underwent a second operation. However, he failed to return to training thereafter which sparked speculation that Stoke would look to terminate his loan contract. His loan spell ended on 1 May when the club confirmed that he had been given unpaid compassionate leave until the end of the season. He scored one goal in 13 appearances during his time with Stoke and the club ultimately suffered relegation from the Premier League.
2018–19: Return to PSG and loan to BetisEdit
Upon his return to PSG, Jesé indicated his eagerness to fight for a spot in the team but he and teammate Gonçalo Guedes were later excluded from new manager Thomas Tuchel's pre-season tour of Asia. He continued to be excluded as the season commenced and was also made to train alone by Tuchel alongside Jean-Christophe Bahebeck. At the turn of the year, with Jesé having not played a single match for the season, it was revealed that he had lost 7kg after appointing a personal trainer as he looked to reintegrate himself into the team. He then made his first, and only appearance for the club for the season on 23 January 2019, coming on as a last minute substitute in a Coupe de France win over Strasbourg.
On 29 January 2019, Jesé signed for Betis on loan until the end of the season where he reunited with former Las Palmas manager, Quique Setién. He made his debut for the club on 7 February, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 2–2 Copa del Rey draw with Valencia. The following week, he made his Europa League debut as a second-half substitute and assisted Diego Lainez for an injury-time equalizer in a 3–3 draw with Rennes. His first goal followed on 10 March when he scored the only goal in a 1–0 league win over Celta Vigo. He ultimately scored twice in eighteen appearances but Betis elected not to sign him permanently at the end of the season.
Spain national youth teamsEdit
In 2010, he traveled to Liechtenstein with the Spain under-17 side for the 2010 UEFA European Football Championship in which Spain ended as runners-up to England. Jesé scored one goal at the tournament, netting the opener in Spain's 3–1 semi-final win over Turkey. Two years later, Jesé netted five goals during Spain's victorious 2012 European Under-19 Championship campaign in Estonia, including a hat trick against Portugal and the winning goal against Greece in the final. Jesé also received the Golden Boot award for ending as the competition's top goalscorer. The following year, Jesé scored a further five goals and assisted another for the Spanish under-20 team at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Spain were ultimately eliminated at hands of Uruguay in the quarter-finals but the nation's early exit from the competition did not prevent Jesé from earning the Bronze Boot award for ending as the tournament's third top goalscorer. His form at the tournament drew praise from Spanish journalist Guillem Balagué who claimed he was better than Real Madrid's new world-record signing Gareth Bale was at the same age.
On 6 February 2014, although he was still eligible to play for the under-21s, Spain manager Vicente del Bosque revealed that Jesé was in his plans ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. However, his chances of taking part at the tournament were ended in March when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament while playing for Real Madrid, with Del Bosque describing the situation as "a blow". Due to his eight-month spell on the sidelines, Jesé also missed Spain's qualification play-off against Serbia for the 2015 European U-21 Championship. Spain ultimately lost the match 2–1 and thereby also failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Style of playEdit
Jesé is able to play across the front line, operating either as an attacking midfielder, second striker or centre-forward, or in his favoured position out on the wing. During his time at the Castilla, Jesé was often deployed in a false 9 role in the team's 4–3–3 formation, and regularly switched flanks due to his ability to use both feet. In 2013, in his role as the club's sporting director at the time, Zinedine Zidane declared himself an admirer of Jesé's direct style of football and goal scoring ability. Following Jesé's promotion to Real Madrid's first team in 2013, manager Carlo Ancelotti played him in a winger position, where he could cut inside from the wing both with the ball and without, to create chances and score goals. His progression with Real Madrid's senior side often saw him compared to teammate Cristiano Ronaldo due to the similarities in their style as well as Jesé's technical ability, close control, pace and dribbling abilities. Jesé welcomed the comparison to Ronaldo and in a 2013 interview with Marca named the Portuguese as his favourite player, ahead of Brazilian namesake, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho.
Jesé was born to Pascual Rodríguez, a pharmacy worker, and María Ruiz. When he joined Real Madrid at the age of 14, he made a promise to his father that he would help him retire by pursuing a career in football. The day after he signed his first professional contract with Real Madrid, Jesé's father was able to retire from the pharmacy at which he worked. He has the names of his parents tattooed on the back of his hands and in 2014 bought them a house in Gran Canaria.
Jesé has three sons, Jesé Jr. (born 2012), Neizan (born 2016), and Nyan (born 2017). He learned of the birth of his second son over social media platform Instagram after the mother of the child claimed that he was the father in a post in November 2016. A DNA test was conducted soon after which confirmed Jesé to be the father. Jesé's third son, Nyan was born prematurely in 2017 and suffered from a number of medical conditions from birth. The following year, he went through a public and acrimonious breakup with Nyan's mother, Aurah Ruiz, which culminated in Ruiz taking Jesé to court where she accused him of neglecting his duties as a father. He responded with a counter-suit against Ruiz for slander in which he allegedly asked that she pay "one Euro and be sentenced to three to five years in prison."
In 2014, just a week after suffering a cruciate ligament injury with Real Madrid, Jesé had to be rescued when a suspected gas explosion set fire to the luxury apartment block in which he was staying at the time.
Aside from football, Jesé is also a musician and formed a Spanish reggaeton band called Big Flow with close friend DJ Nuno in March 2014. Together, the pair released two singles on YouTube, the first of which was titled La Mano Arriba. In November the same year, the group disbanded with Jesé announcing he would be pursuing a solo career in 2015 under the name 'Jey M.' In 2018, he released a single titled La Prueba – The Proof - from which he sought to donate proceeds for research towards diseases such congenital hyperinsulinism.
|Club||Season||League||National Cup[a]||League Cup[b]||Europe||Other||Total|
|Real Madrid Castilla||2010–11||Segunda División B||3||0||—||—||—||—||3||0|
|2011–12||Segunda División B||39||10||—||—||—||—||39||10|
|Real Madrid||2011–12||La Liga||1||0||1||0||—||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Paris Saint-Germain||2016–17||Ligue 1||9||1||0||0||1||1||4[c]||0||0||0||14||2|
|Las Palmas (loan)||2016–17||La Liga||16||3||0||0||—||—||—||16||3|
|Stoke City (loan)||2017–18||Premier League||13||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||13||1|
|Betis (loan)||2018–19||La Liga||14||2||2||0||0||0||2[e]||0||0||0||18||2|
- Real Madrid
- La Liga: 2011–12
- Copa del Rey: 2013–14
- UEFA Champions League: 2013–14, 2015–16
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2014
- Real Madrid Castilla
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Spain U-19
- Spain U-17
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- Jesé at ESPN FC
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