MEXICAN NATIONAL TEAM
Santiago Giménez says he chose Mexico “because it’s what I feel inside, I didn’t think about any other decision”
The forward came out to talk after Mexico won the Gold Cup, including clearing up any doubts over his nationality.
In the middle of the debate regarding the controversy around his nationality, something that came to light after winning the Gold Cup, Santiago Giménez came out to speak publicly about his feelings of feeling Mexican, despite being born in Argentina.
After the win over Panama in the Gold Cup final, various Argentinian media outlets pointed out on their front pages that “an Argentine” had given the trophy to El Tri, a nod to Giménez, who was born in Buenos Aires before moving to Mexico at the age of two-years-old.
“I didn’t think about what was ‘better’ for me, I didn’t listen to anyone”
Given the controversy, in an interview with Concacaf, Santiago Giménez explained his reasons for “feeling Mexican”: “I chose Mexico because it’s what I feel inside, I didn’t think about any other decision, I didn’t think about what was ‘better’ for me, I didn’t listen to anything that my family said, I didn’t listen to anything that anyone said to me”, he said.
The forward admitted that it wasn’t an easy decision on which nationality to choose: “I simply thought: what do I feel? Do I feel Mexican or Argentinian? And that was when I made the decision. I genuinely feel Mexican, I’ve been here since I was two-years-old and that’s how I identify, as a Mexican.”
“In Mexico, you can relax a little, that’s the difference”
Giménez, who currently plays for Feyenoord in The Netherlands, also spoke about the differences between Liga MX, where he played for Cruz Azul, and European football, saying that “the level of football in Europe is quite good, intense. I think Liga MX has quite a similar level, I think the only difference is that in Europe, if you end up losing one or two games, the league can become complicated, so every game has to be 100%, focussed.”
He also added that “here in Mexico, as there is a liguilla, since twelve teams go through to it, I think you can relax a little bit and it’s all fine. I think that’s the big difference in Liga MX, but the level is quite similar.”