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Julen Lopetegui: “Raúl Jiménez decided to go to Qatar 2022″

In an exclusive interview with Diario AS, Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui expressed concern over Jiménez’s decision to go to the World Cup with Mexico.

Wolves manager Bruno Lage explains Raúl Jiménez absence
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Julen Lopetegui has barely had time to unpack his bags in Wolverhampton but while he is juggling the multitude of problems that come with a relegation battle, the coach has another issue thrown into the mix: Raúl Jiménez. In an exclusive interview with Diario AS, the Spanish coach said that the ‘Mexican Wolf’ decided to go to Qatar 2022 with the Mexican National Team, and while the club respect his decision, that does not mean that he goes with their best wishes.

One of the great dilemmas of the Mexican National Team, and the reason why the announcement of the World Cup squad delayed until the FIFA deadline, was due to Raúl Jiménez. The Mexican striker has been suffering from groin pain for a few weeks, a situation that has kept him away from the pitch.

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However, Gerardo Martino decided to wait until the last minute Raúl Jiménez finally got his ticket to Qatar. Given this decision, Julen Lopetegui admitted to AS that the player is far from reaching his best version and that he hopes the striker returns fit and healthy from the World Cup.

“It will depend on him. Yes, it is true that he is far from his best version as as he has not played a single minute with the team for the last two and a half months, but I think that his best version is necessary for the team. But it’s up to him. We will try to help not only him but everyone. Now, unfortunately, we have to lose him for a while since he is leaving with his national team, despite not having played a minute with Wolves. In this case we still had doubts as to whether he was going to go or not, and in the end he has decided to go. We fully respect his and Mexico’s decision and we will be watching him and making sure that he returns healthy and prepared, better than when he left” Lopetegui said.

Few minutes for Jiménez this season

Groin pain has prevented Jiménez from arriving at the World Cup in good shape. In the Premier League, he has only played three games this season, a total of 211 minutes. In fact, his most recent match was way back in August in a goalless draw against Bournemouth.