Jese Rodriguez admitted he had fulfilled "a dream" by netting the winner for Real Madrid in their La Liga clash with Valencia on Sunday night.
The 20-year-old struck late at Mestalla to hand Los Blancos a vital 3-2 victory that saw them draw back to within five points of Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Jese, who has been repeatedly linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, was understandably delighted with his match-winning contribution, claiming afterwards that the mass celebrations on the Madrid bench following his goal underlined the sense of unity in Carlo Ancelotti's squad.
“I’m fulfilling a dream and today I’m especially happy because my goal was the winning goal,” the forward told reporters.
“The team is united - it shows by the way we all celebrated my goal.
“I’ve said I want to stay here and earn my minutes on the pitch. The coach is now giving me my chance and I appreciate it. I hope to contribute more.”
Jese admitted to searching out Zinedine Zidane after finding the net in order to share the moment with the France legend, revealing that the Blancos assistant coach has played a big role in the progress he’s made at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“I was looking for Zidane in the celebrations as his support is a big influence for me," he explained. "He and the coach give me a lot of love and Zidane is a big reason why I stayed at the club.”
Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, reflected on his side’s status going into the winter break and claimed that he is content with the progress his troops have made since his summer arrival in the Spanish capital.
“I am satisfied with this first part of the season,” the former Chelsea boss mused. “I’m looking forward to 2014; I think it will be a good year for Real Madrid.
"Five points is not many and winning today was very important with the pressure we were under.”