Mexico

Santiago Gimenez's decision to take Europa League penalty causes friction in locker room

Lizzy Becherano
Santiago Gimenez's decision to take the penalty against Lazio caused an argument with team captain.
Santiago Gimenez's decision to take the penalty against Lazio caused an argument with team captain. / BSR Agency/GettyImages
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Santiago Gimenez kicked off his 2022/2023 Europa League campaign with Feyenoord on Thursday, coming off the bench in the 60th minute to score twice. 

The Mexican striker entered the match as Lazio led 4-0, before finding the back of the net with a penalty kick, and doubling his tally at the 88th minute of the match. But it seems Gimenez overstepped his boundaries, after Feyenoord captain Orkun Kökcü revealed he had a discussion with the player for taking the penalty. 

“We had a little discussion with the first penalty because there is a sheet in the locker room that says I am number one (to take penalties). Our striker (Santiago Giménez) chose to make his own decision. I'm disappointed because he disobeyed me when I'm the captain,” Kökcü told ESPN Netherlands exclusively at the end of the game.

“It bothered me. We know he can score the penalty, that's not the problem. but for me, it was more about our rules and respect between teammates.”

Santiago Gimenez joined Feyenoord on July 31 from Liga MX team Cruz Azul, signing a four-year contract with the Dutch side. He’s enjoyed a great start on the field, registering three goals and one assist in four matches across all competitions. But it seems his determination to impress has also caused friction. 

Nevertheless, his ability to find the back of the net brings him one step closer to securing a spot on Gerardo Martino’s 26-player roster headed to Qatar.


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