Jimenez ready for 'new chapter' with Mexico

Raul Jimenez was pleased to sign off from club football on a positive note, both personally and as a collective, and is now relishing being reunited with his national team.

The striker, who produced two assists in Saturday’s win over Newcastle United, has linked up with Mexico for the first time since his sickening head injury last November, after protocols changed to allow him to leave the UK safely. Having missed out on the September fixtures, Jimenez is grateful to be back in his home surroundings and is now focused on Mexico’s important World Cup qualifiers.

On hitting form for Wolves

“I was already full of confidence from the start of the season, but those results certainly help. To start a match and help like that the team to win is something that fills me with even more confidence.

“We had been playing well, I believe, individually and collectively. Even when we lost to Brentford, we had played well and were a bit unlucky. But in the last few games we were better, and I was very happy I could score myself and also help Hwang score two goals.”

On re-joining the Mexico squad

“Everyone here received me with a lot of love and affection. They wanted to see me. They were very happy to have me back in the national team. It makes me very happy to be here, in Mexico, and it motivates me even more to play.

“I think it’s been almost a year I’ve played with Mexico since November last year. It’s so cool to come back to Mexico and be back with my Mexican teammates. I took a couple of days of holiday during summer, before the Gold Cup, to come and say hi, before returning to Wolves.

“It's like I’m starting a new chapter, as if it were the first time I've been here with the national team, and it feels great.”

On Mexico’s campaign so far

“I think Mexico have done really well. Our opponents can all cause us problems, but we have a great team and are able to achieve important things. To win seven points out of nine is not easy, especially playing two away games.

“We might lose some games, because no one is invincible, but we must keep our focus, calm and patience, and the determination to move forward, thinking about going out on the pitch and win our next game.”

On missing out last time

“Everyone knows and understands that the UK government was very strict about that trip. Should I have come to Mexico, I would have had to quarantine in a hotel in the UK on my return, which was not the right thing to do for anyone. That would have meant I was going to miss three matches, which would have been a harsh punishment for me and for Wolves.

“Wolves have always been willing to let me play for Mexico. They’ve been very supportive and, in the end, we could reach an agreement with the UK authorities.

“This time, when I will return to the UK, I’ll have to follow a specific protocol, but it won’t be so strict as before, and I’ll be able to go to training and play matches for Wolves, as long as I remain in the bubble set up by the club.”

On seeing the Mexico fans

“It will be very nice. I will be very proud to put on the Mexico shirt and play for the fans. It wasn't possible to come over here for the last qualifiers, because of the UK authorities, so for me I'm looking forward to it even more this time.”

Interviews courtesy of Gibran Araige and Ana Caty Hernandez (TUDN | tudn.mx) and Carlos Loret de Mola and Juan Carlos Zuniga (W Deportes | wdeportes.com). Picture: MiSeleccionMX.