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MEXICO

Jaime Lozano speaks about Santiago Giménez as the future of the Mexican National Team

The Mexico National Team coach spoke to a select few journalists ahead of Mexico’s game with Colombia in December.

The Mexico National Team coach spoke to a select few journalists ahead of Mexico’s game with Colombia in December.
ERIK S. LESSEREFE

AS was present as Jaime Lozano, manager of the Mexican National Team, spoke to a select number of journalists ahead of Mexico’s upcoming game on December 16 against Colombia, which will take place at United Airlines Field at the Memorial Coliseum. The game will serve as preparation for the 2024 Copa América, a tournament in which Mexico are one of the seeded teams and will top Group B in the draw.

The Mexico coach was asked about various players both in and away from the side, and spoke about the different situations regarding players such as Santiago Giménez, Alexis Vega and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández.

When asked how he uses his plethora of forward players in the side, despite many people believing that Santiago Giménez, given his form, should be the sole starter for El Tri, Lozano held back and commented on the versatility in his squad and that each game “depends a lot on the opponent, it depends on the match. I really like the fact that we don’t depend on a player and it doesn’t depend on the player”.

I like that we don’t depend on a [single] centre-forward to have scoring options or to win a match”, he continued, “in the [Gold Cup] you saw quite a few players who scored. In my time with the Olympic team it was the same thing and I could tell you the same thing with the clubs I’ve been with, I don’t like to depend on a single forward.”

Santiago Giménez has shone for Feyenoord this season.
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Santiago Giménez has shone for Feyenoord this season.OLAF KRAAKEFE

Giménez ‘is the present and future of the Mexican National Team’

We don’t play for one player; we play for the team and as a team”, Lozano said as he reaffirmed his commitment to a solid atmosphere in the dressing room, something that had arguably been lacking over the past 12 months.

He also spoke about the specific tactical changes that the squad gives him as a manager, saying that “if you look at the last game (against Honduras), Henry Martín played, but unfortunately we couldn’t generate many chances for him. In that game it was Sánchez who was getting them instead arriving later to score. Then it was Quiñones who had three chances playing as a midfielder or a second striker.”

Santi ‘the present and future of the Mexican National Team’

“So it also depends on the opponent” Lozano repeated before mentioning the name on everyone’s lips, “because Santi [Giménez] generated some chances against Germany, which in theory is a more complicated opponent. He had two or three very clear chances and unfortunately he couldn’t score any, but it seems to me that it depends a lot on the opponent. It depends a lot on how they defend more than on my system that I want to implement.”

On Santiago Giménez, who has been linked with Chelsea recently but scored an own goal in the Champions League against Atlético Madrid, Lozano was reserved in his judgement of how much pressure to put on the young forward while also acknowledging the fantastic talent that Mexico has in its ranks: “Let’s wait and see, it is a process”, he said, “he is a great striker, he is a great player, I think he is the present and future of the Mexican National Team, but as you said, at Feyenoord the team work hard, they are very structured and I think it is between them and PSV fighting to be the best team in the league and they show it every weekend.”

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