Giovani dos Santos, the 25-year-old striker, has been named the “key player” for Mexico’s men’s national football team during their play in the World Cup.
The team begins its ply against Cameroon on Friday.
Dos Santos was dubbed the “key player” by the newspaper L’Equipe, which published a special World Cup issue, selecting the most important players of the 32 teams.
Dos Santos has increasingly grown more dangerous as the years pass, and was a member of the gold-medal winning team at the 2012 London Olympics and the El Tri squad at the 2010 World Cup.
Hailing from Monterrey, dos Santos currently plays for Villarreal.
Despite Mexico not being given strong odds to advance in or win the World Cup, dos Santos has expressed confidence that the team grew stronger during the rough qualifying matches.
“In the qualifying it was made clear for us that no team today is easy, and you have to work well in the matches to achieve a good result. Obviously that [qualifying] brought us closer together and today we know we’re stronger than before,” he said, reported the Inside Spanish Football blog.
He also referenced the gold medal, saying that the 10 players that return from that team are natural winners.
“There’s people who have a winning mentality”, he said. “There are people who have grown with different titles, people that have won the u-17 World Cup [Peru, 2005], the Olympic Gold, and there’s a good generation to think about the important titles.
“As the coach said, the goal is to reach the final. In reality, we have to go match by match, but if you asked how far we aspire to go, I think we aspire to be the Champions.”
Meanwhile, Dos Santos was given a scare earlier this year with a calf injury, with the possibility of missing the World Cup, but he has recovered.