Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado expressed mixed emotions after his latest assist of the season – in Villarreal's 2-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano – saw him join Ballon d'Or nominee Neymar and Real Madrid's Gareth Bale as the best assist makers in La Liga. Soldado said he was happy to help his team secure three points but wishes he was topping the top goalscorer charts instead.
Soldado arrived in North London back in the summer of 2013 with a reputation for being one of the most clinical forwards in Europe, bagging 24 La Liga goals for Valencia the previous season. However, he returned to Spain after two underwhelming seasons at White Hart Lane where he netted just 16 goals, with 11 assists.
The former Spanish international started his new life in La Liga in flying form, scoring two goals and making two assists in his opening pair of matches, being voted Villarreal player of the month for August by the club's fans.
He has since struggled to find the back of the net but has surprisingly emerged as one of the top assist makers of the competition – alongside Neymar and Bale – with this set-up for Cedric Bakambu going down as his fifth of the campaign.
"It is always good to help the team. The assists are good for the team and the numbers in that area are not bad, but I would rather score them than give them (to my teammates)," Soldado said, as quoted by AS. "Nevertheless the most important thing is to help the team win and I'm happy about that. I would change everything to score more goals but the important thing is that the team get good results and that makes me happy."
"I am satisfied with the victory, which gives us confidence and calm. Returning to winning ways was vital, we needed the three points because we had had a complicated run and played at home," he added. "But the team must improve their results away"
Soldado has also netted two goals and grabbed one assist in a Europa League competition that could see him returning to White Hart Lane – as Villarreal and Spurs have already booked their places in the knockout stages of the tournament.