Why Mexico’s Santi Giménez did not go to the 2022 World Cup revealed
In an interview with Fox Sports, the former director of the federation explained why Funes Mori and Raúl Jiménez were picked ahead.
In an interview with Fernando Schwartz from Fox Sports, Jaime Ordiales, former Sports Director of the Mexican soccer federation, revealed the reasons Gerardo Martino chose not to include Santiago Giménez, recently crowned Eredivisie champion with Feyenoord, to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“Tata Martino considered that Raúl Jiménez and Rogelio Funes Mori gave him something that he had not yet found in Santiago Giménez,” said Ordiales. “He wanted him, because he saw great potential in him, but he had to make the decision. I know Santi really well and I think he had the qualities that could have contributed to the World Cup.”
Funes Mori and Jiménez over Giménez
When the then Mexico coach announced the squad for the World Cup in November, one of the most notable absences was that of Giménez. At that point, the Feyenoord striker had scored four goals in the Europa League, two in the Dutch league and the same number of assists. In his place, the attackers Rogelio Funes Mori and Raúl Jiménez were called up. The latter was criticized for not being at peak fitness for a World Cup.
Absence of Carlos Acevedo
Another omission that did not escape controversy was that of Carlos Acevedo, the Santos goalkeeper. Sectors of the press and the fans asked that the goalkeeper, then 26 years old, at least made the squad, but Rodolfo Cota was chosen instead.
“[Gerardo Martino] acknowledged that, not because of Rodolfo Cota, but due to the decision that Carlos Acevedo was performing very well. For many in the group, it was questionable that he wasn’t included. In his decision, some factors he considered were wanting two goalkeepers like Guillermo Ochoa and Alfredo Talavera, and at the time Rodolfo Cota’s leadership qualities and ability to manage the group.”