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.

9 responses so far
  • Da // June 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    i say unprofessionalism

  • B // June 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Yep, unprofessionalism.

  • tavin // June 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    unprofessionalism….oh yes, Zizinho, I am so glad you are thinking about ruining your kids careers’ at such young age….

  • Ramon // June 2, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I’m a diehard Mexico supporter from Texas. Jonathan should have never been cut; there are plenty of benchwarming veterans available to chop from the roster. Jonathan is talented, part of our future, he has much more to gain from the Cup experience.

    But forget all that, you do not touch the chemistry right before the World Cup. You do anything to keep your best player happy.

    Aguirre messed up. Giovani Dos Santos is one of the most exciting prospects Mexico has produced. You saw the England friendly: he was everywhere.

    Professionalism or not, it was an atrociously short-sighted call. We’re ruined. Group A is such a toss up, this type of shift will be the difference.

    Mexico should have blown out South Africa (we had to really, the refs would have decided a tight game late for the host nation), pulled out their trusty tie against a European power (Italy in 94, the Dutch in 98, Italy again in 2002), held on against the Uruguay offense to advance.

    Mexico can’t score goals. Mexico doesn’t rise with adverse backdrops like Italy. Mexico crumbles and spirals into self-loathing.

    This ruined my day.

  • tavin // June 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    This guy Ramon must be Zizinho LOL

  • Ramon // June 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    It’s really not that complicated: don’t mess with your core of talent. Aguirre is but a caretaker and the Dos Santos brothers are central in the future of Mexican soccer.

    The attitude of their father is appalling but indicative of most stage parents (Earl Woods, anyone?) and that’s secondary: Aguirre’s responsibility is to keep his team happy, united, prepared. The World Cup is a crap shoot and the most together, hot team usually wins. Messing with such a vital metric is a mistake.

  • Marcamps // June 2, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    i completely agree with Ramon. hell, i’ll even one-up you: i’m a diehard Guadalajara supporter, and i think “Bofo” Bautista should never have made the squad. seriously.

    this is all Aguirre’s fault; if he relies on Gio’s quick pace and ability, why deal a blow to his emotional state by cutting his brother from the squad? yes, footballers on the world stage are expected to exhibit a certain level of professionalism, but they’re all human and things like this can affect a player.

    between this, effectively designating 37-year-old “Conejo” Perez as the starting keeper, and leaving the wearer of the captain’s armband in South Africa still up in the air, Mexico’s in for a tumultuous tournament. i hope i’m wrong.

  • suzette garcia // July 19, 2010 at 12:49 am

    javier aguirre should of never took out jonathan dos santos because hes good and giovanni is freaking awesome and jonathan’s dad should not of been saying that jonathan is never going to play for mexico anymore.

  • susi escamilla // September 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    i think yhur so cute.

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