UPDATE (8/11/14): 5 reasons why a move to Atletico is the right thing for Raul Jimenez
With todays technology empowering our society to express their thoughts and feelings quite liberally, it is hard to know just how far our actions on the web will follow us and for how long they will haunt us. In Raul Jimenezs case, they may actually be the only thing between him and the contract of a lifetime.
The young Mexican forward was one of the freshest surprises of the last year in the Liga MX. In him, America found the best man to replace the late Chucho Benitez, as the Ecuadorian moved to the Qatar Stars League before passing away in July 2013.
While he had been a part of the professional squad since 2010, Jimenez only started to appear regularly with Las Aguilas after the last summer transfer market, and he managed to keep up the winning mentality the club had recovered with Miguel Herrera at the helm.
Making it to the final of the tournament in the Clausura 2013, the now 23-year-old became a stand out in the Mexican league, and an immediate fan favorite at America.
Albeit his young age, his competitiveness had already taken him a long way at the International level, as Jimenez can count an Olympic Gold under his belt (London 2012) and presence at the Gold Cup, Confederations Cup and the Brazil 2014 World Cup with the Mexican senior team. In 96 games with America, Jimenez has scored 36 goals, and many see in him the next big star of the country, following in the footsteps of Chicharito and Vela.
With such an impressive resume it was only a matter of time before Jimenez would get a nod to join a European club, and after America signed Oribe Peralta, this summer seemed like the perfect time for the young striker to say goodbye to his childhood club.
Atletico Madrid comes into the picture as the team ready to make an 11 million euro investment for the player. It makes sense for the Colchoneros to go after Jimenez: he fits the team profile being a young, sure-fire goalscorer; the club has always had ties with Mexico, and just in the last two years have put out bids to bring Vela and Chicharito to the team; and the memory of a young Hugo Sanchez driving Vicente Calderon loyals crazy is still very present in fans over 35 years old.
But then come the issues. When the rumour about Atleticos interest became quite serious, the press at both sides of the Atlantic went back in time and found some cheeky tweets Raul Jimenez had posted just a few months ago.
The striker had openly admitted to be a relentless Real Madrid fan –not strange anyway, as Hugo Sanchez became a worldwide star with the Merengues after leaving Atletico Madrid and that is still a driving force in Mexican fans hearts–, and he even tweeted during the Champions League final the legendary Tri chant sí se puede, pushing for the Whites to turn around the 1-0 advantage Atletico Madrid had achieved in the first half in Lisbon.
Quite obviously, these tweets and comments have not been welcomed by many Colchonero fans, who would rather see another player who hasnt been as open as Jimenez about their feelings for the Manzanares club nemesis.
Yet, the Atletico Madrid board seems keen on signing the Mexican and have already flooded the web with comments about how, historically, some of the clubs best players have been Real Madrid fans in the past: Bernd Schuster being the clearest case, but with the more recent examples of Filipe Luis and Juanfran having been brought up in the Merengue youth system before reaching stardom at Calderon.
Diego Simeone needs a striker to team up with Mario Mandzukic upfront having sold Diego Costa, David Villa and Adrian this summer, and aside from his tweets, Raul Jimenez seems like the perfect man to play the role. Lets see just how much weight do those tweets have when it comes to crunch time for Atletico Madrids board to sign off on what could be a great move for Raul Jimenez.