What Joselu said about Stoke City and brilliant nickname as Real Madrid super sub stuns Bayern Munich

Former Stoke City striker Joselu came off the bench to inspire Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final.
Former Stoke City striker Joselu came off the bench to inspire Real Madrid against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. -Credit:Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images


There was a time in 2015/16 when Joselu was getting a reputation as a Stoke City super sub. He has taken that mantle to Real Madrid and now inspired an incredible Champions League semi-final turnaround against Bayern Munich.

The striker, now aged 34, has come off the bench with nine minutes to go in the second leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and Madrid trailing 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate. He equalised in the 88th minute when he pounced as Manuel Neuer spilled a shot from Vinicius Junior.

He then scored the winner in the 91st minute when Antonio Rudiger slipped a pass across goal and he was there to tap home. He was initially given offside but was allowed after VAR checks, sparking incredible scenes - and dejection for fellow Stoke old boy Maxim Choupo-Moting in the Bayern camp.

They will now take on Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in the final.

READ MORE: Gary Rowett breaks silence on Maxim Choupo-Moting Stoke City exit

READ MORE: Inside story of Maxim Choupo-Moting at Stoke City

Steve McManaman, watching for TNT Sports, said: "We've seen it before, we've seen it again! You never thought you'd say Joselu to the rescue, but what scenes! He's been criticised quite a bit for the chances he's missed but who cares when he produces a moment like this."

It is wrong for Joselu to be called a Stoke flop. He was in a strong squad, which finished ninth in the Premier League, and only left because he wanted to play more regularly. He showed under Mark Hughes that he could make a big difference from the bench, such as a dramatic 4-3 win at Everton even if that game is better remembered for how he hugged Mark Clattenburg following the award of a last minute penalty.

Peter Crouch gets a hug from Joselu as he scored in Stoke's most recent FA Cup win, against Doncaster in January 2016.
Peter Crouch gets a hug from Joselu as he scored in Stoke's most recent FA Cup win, against Doncaster in January 2016. -Credit:Mark Scott

He has fond memories of his time in the Potteries - and his nickname as a big striker at Madrid is Crouchy, bestowed on him by England midfielder Jude Bellingham.

"That was a good year: we finished ninth, beat City and United and reached the [League] Cup semi-final, only losing on penalties at Anfield … I played with good footballers: Crouch, [Marko] Arnautovic, Jonny Walters," he said in a heart-warming interview with the Guardian recently.

He added: "I loved Jonny Walters. He fought, he was committed, physically he was a beast, he scored over a hundred goals. Crouch was an incredible guy. Jude calls me Crouchy now because I’m a tall striker who likes a cross. Others followed Jude and it’s stuck. But he’s 2 metres tall, I’m only 1.92. Crouch was very funny and helped me a lot. Boy, I had good times with him.

“It was hard [to leave] because I had got to know everyone there but they were looking for a shift in style. I still follow Stoke. They just can’t quite get back to the Premier League. The players have gone but I have loads of friends there. I had people from Stoke at my wedding, people from Newcastle too.”

What are your memories of Joselu? Have your say in the comments section