On Tuesday, José Mourinho once again resorted to the option provided by José Maria Callejón to renew the spirit of a Real Madrid in quite a fix against Dortmund (they were losing 2-1). The man from Motril provided the expected dose of courage and daring, and had a revolutionizing effect on Madrid's forward line. He scored just after coming on, in the 47th minute, though his goal was ruled out for a dubious off-side. Callejón's energy is visible in the statistics from the game. In the half that he was on the picth, he went about the task of hunting down Weidenfeller with gusto, registering the most attempts at the German goal together with Cristiano.
The week after Mou's harsh remarks towards Alberto Toril, Callejón proved he is and will continue to be one of the most effective recent graduates of La Fábrica. Last season he scored 13 times in official competitions in just 1,314 minutes: a goal every 101"...
Since he returned to Madrid in the summer of 2011 after a three-year loan period at Espanyol (where he went for 1.2 million euros after finishing as top scorer with Castilla in 2008), he's got used to squeezing the most out of the scarce opportunities Mou grants him. That's even meant scoring important goals, like the winner at Mallorca's Son Moix stadium last season. At the time, Madrid had just increased their advantage at the top of the league to five points, and thanks to the win they stayed there throughout January.
Callejón was immortalized forever when Mourinho gave him a piggy-back at the Mestalla in celebration of last season's Liga win. But he's a front-line academy player and he posits himself with the La Fábrica boys. As has been said in the debate over the role of the Castilla man Nacho: "All the reserves like to see home-grown players on the pitch."
Player number 17 for Mou
The player nicknamed 'Calleti' in the dressing-room always knuckles down to the task, even in friendlies. In the recent pre-season, he notched up four goals in only 239 minutes (one every 59") and in the Bernabéu Trophy he scored twice against Millonarios. Despite that, Callejón is the 17th -placed Madrid player in terms of minutes played in the Liga (only 160). Only the now ex-Madridista Lass (119"), Kaká (99"), Coentrao (90"), Morata (24") and Alex (1") have played less. In the Champions League things haven't been much rosier for him; he's Mou's 15th most used footballer there. He's had a role in two of the four matches played up to now, totalling 106 minutes, only more than the injured Khedira (105"), Kaká (98"), Albiol (90") and Coentrao (still yet to debut in the competition).