Gio dos Santos threatens to quit Mexico squad after his little brother is dropped
Two Saints family distraught as Jonathan misses out
Best known on these shores for going from the dizzying heights of tippy-tappy Nou Camp football to turning out for Ipswich Town away at Bristol City in less than a year, jinking Spurs midfielder Giovani dos Santos is seen as an important part of Mexico‘s forthcoming World Cup campaign.
His younger brother Jonathan, on the other hand… not so much. On Monday, Mexico coach Javier Aguirre dropped the Barcelona midfielder from his final 23, in a situation that bore a passing resemblance to England’s Theo Walcott saga – albeit with added tears and televised threats from family members.
Aguirre’s decision prompted a furious response from the dos Santos brothers’ father Zizinho, an ’80s legend in Mexican football. While Jonathan said his goodbyes to the squad, Zizinho jumped in front of national TV cameras and went into full ‘soccer dad’ mode:
Jonathan will not play for Mexico any more. I love Mexico, I adore it, it is my country even though I am Brazilian but they cannot hurt him this way. Jonathan told me that he is going to quit the Mexican team and I don’t want him playing for them anymore anyway.
Giovani apparently didn’t take the news too well either, with reports from Mexico suggesting the squad has been trying to talk the tearful player out of following his bro home. Says Zizinho:
Gio is very hurt and he wants to be at home with us. He is there now and he’s not well. We don’t know if he will play or not.
At 21 and 20 respectively, Gio and Jonathan still have a few World Cups left in them. So what does this go down as? Heartwarming brotherly solidarity? Or rank unprofessionalism? The Spoiler bets Phil Neville dreamt of Gary doing this sort of thing for him.