Friday Aug 07, 2020. 14:00
France-born Beninese defender Jules Kounde says he is not interested in Spanish football heavyweights, Real Madrid.
The 21-year-old defender has reportedly attracted interest from the 2019/20 La Liga champions with his consistent displays for Spanish side Sevilla.
Kounde, who has helped Sevilla reach the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, has opened up about the reports linking him with Real.
“It’s always good that there are clubs like Real Madrid that follow you, but I’m very focused on Sevilla, I want to win this cup [Europa League],” Kounde told AS.
“It’s the only thing in my head and that of the team. I’m not interested in Madrid.”
The highly-rated player is one of the shortest centre backs in La Liga and he is inspired by legendary Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro.
“I always had a good jump. I know that there are many people who, when seeing a 1.81 centre-back, are wondering how the aerial game will solve it when it comes to a big striker,” he said.
“That also happened to me in Bordeaux. At the end of my training, I played right back because a coach looked at me like that, too short. But it doesn’t scare me to go upside down, it’s one of my strengths indeed.
Cannavaro, who was a 1.75 centre back, is considered one of the greatest defenders of all time, winning the FIFA World Cup as Italy’s captain, as well as the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 2006.
“For me, height is not just a matter of centimetres. The most important thing is to play smart,” he added.
“If we listen to many people, Cannavaro could not have played as a central defender in his life, and he ended up achieving a Ballon d’Or, he played for Real Madrid.
“You have to change that view that you always have to be tall in this position, or very strong.”
Kounde has played for France’s under-20 national team, but he is still eligible to represent Benin.